INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Last Saturday morning, the trusted box truck that volunteers drove to haul food for the Lord’s Pantry on Indianapolis’ west side brought hundreds of pounds of fresh produce and bread to Anna’s House in Stringtown to feed 200 families and about a thousand people.
When former Director Julie Molloy arrived at the pantry at 303 North Elder Avenue Monday morning, she was stunned by what she didn’t find.
“Over the weekend our truck was stolen which puts us in a world of hurt when you’re trying to feed hundreds of people every week.”
Lucious Newsom, new to Indianapolis in 1989, began the Lord’s Pantry literally out of the trunk of his car.
Years later, Newsom met Anna Molloy, who was disabled and confined to a wheelchair but instilled with a spunky spirit that belied her young years.
Anna had a childhood dream to build a house for the underserved children in the neighborhoods west of the White River and opened Anna’s House for Thanksgiving dinner in 2006.
After her daughter’s death and the passing of Lucious, Julie Molloy was determined that their dream of feeding the hungry would not die.
“The last 24 hours have been overwhelming,” said Julie as she juggled phone calls and visitors asking how they could volunteer to carry on the mission now that the food pantry’s truck was gone. “Came in this morning a little bit after eight and the phone was lit up with voice mails and the phone rang non-stop until one thirty this afternoon of people willing to help.”
One of those callers was Andy Ellis of Ellis Electrical & Mechanical on the city’s south side.
“We were watching FOX59 and the show ended and the news came on and I saw the article on the news and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, that truck is almost identical to mine. I can’t believe someone would steal a truck from the Lord’s Pantry,’ and I thought that would be a perfect fit for that truck that we have for sale and we thought we would just donate them the truck.
“We had an offer on this one last week for $5,000 and I turned it down-- and now I realize it was meant to be that we turned it down so it’ll go towards a good thing,” said Ellis. “I believe in paying it forward.”
Ellis signed over the title to a 2004 retired Chevrolet service truck with side compartments and shelving that he says has been well maintained for 146,000 miles.
“We have a lot of friends. We are blessed,” said Julie. “We’re gonna keep the doors open.”
“I start Googling them last night when I was laying in bed and started reading some of the past newsletters that they put out,” said Ellis. “And there’s some really interesting stories so that’s what got my interest.”
Molloy is stepping down this year as Anna’s House launches a search for its next director and tackles an ongoing financial goal of raising $10,000 per month to double the number of families it serves.
Long term, Molloy dreams of expanding Anna’s House and its services to a larger building, proposed with a partner, on a nearby donated property.
For more information about the Lord’s Pantry’s Wednesday night dinners or Saturday morning food services, call (317) 631-5504 or click here.