TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—In partnership with Westminster Village News 18 continues highlighting people in the community who are going above and beyond to create a positive impact. January's Hometown Heroes are a couple that work to provide for families in need even in the middle of a pandemic.
"That feels great that someone would nominate us," said Edwin Swanson.
Edwin and Rosalee Swanson manage the St. James Food Pantry in Lafayette. They've managed the pantry for many years, opening its doors 2 days each week.
"Most of our people are walk-ins from around this community," said Ed.
When the pandemic started last March, Ed & Rosalee adjusted in order to provide for families in need. They do all of the stocking, cleaning and almost all of the distribution by themselves to avoid exposing volunteers to COVID.
"I have older helpers some of them in their 80s and I just said there's no sense in you people the wife and I will run it," said Ed.
Rosalee said the obstacles 2020 presented only pushed her and Edwin harder to be there for people.
"It was very nice for us to be open for these people in the greatest time of need," said Rosie. "You gotta look out for one another number one. I mean there's a lot of people out there that can't get out they have no way of getting around."
Both Edwin and Rosalee said it's an honor being recognized by the community, but their message has always and will always be the same.
"If there's anybody in the community that really need the food we except everybody as long as you live in Tippecanoe County," said Ed.
"We want everybody to come that needs help," said Rosie. "That's what we are here for. As long as we can be here for them we will be."
-and that's why they are Hometown Heroes
Edwin and Rosalee don't have the numbers for 2020 yet however in 2019, 5,000 families were served in Tippecanoe County through St. James Food Pantry.