The Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard (MHC) Fourth Annual “Silent Auction” is taking place right now, now, now at the west- and east-side Bloomingfoods. (Sorry for the used car salesman rant.)

But honestly, local artwork, guitar and yoga classes, gift certificates, oriental rugs, books, T-shirts, ceramics and many other unique items are being silently auctioned, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to a good cause – feeding the working poor.

“A lot of folks don’t understand that many people in our community are one illness, one paycheck, or one accident away from hunger,” said Brooke Gentile executive director of MHC.

In 2006, MHC redistributed more than 577,000 pounds of food from the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, with a retail value of over $1.2 million.

“The majority of our clients have at least one person in their household working," Gentile said. “People are massively underemployed. And the wages aren’t exceedingly high in the area, but the cost of living is really high.”

The pantry is as an emergency food assistance program that serves 1,450 clients each week. Yet, this is not a typical food pantry passing out prepackaged bags of canned goods. By allowing clients to choose what food they want straight from the shelf, it is more like a grocery store.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard also maintains three community gardens and offers nutritional education classes. The goal of MHC is to help people reclaim the sanctity of planting, growing, and cooking their own food. To date, the gardens have brought in over 2,000 lbs. of local, organic produce.

“We want you to have food, and we want you to have healthy food,” Gentile said. “If you have any questions about recipes, or about how to cook anything, or whatever, ask us, or come to our classes.”

The auction closes at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Matthew Beuoy can be reached at

For more information
Mother Hubbarb’s Cupboard
1010 S. Walnut St.