From the street, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard (MHC) is barely visible to the eye. The building in a strip mall on Bloomington’s south side is small and modest, but the significance of its services is not.
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is a local food pantry that focuses on nutrition, organic growing and educating its clients, according to Brooke Gentile, the MHC executive director.
“I was really excited to work at Mother Hubbard’s because we provide the healthiest food possible,” she said. “And also because we empower everyone involved.”
Food prices rise. Gas prices grow to record highs almost daily. And Mother Hubbard's Cupboard's (MHC) client base is increasing with them.
"Peoples budgets are getting stretched farther," said MHC Executive Director Brooke Gentile. "The rising costs are making it harder on them."
MHC is a food pantry that provides for community members in need. It focuses on healthy and wholesome food to provide nutrition to its clients. In 2007, the pantry aided an average of 1,450 individuals per week and filled 75,017 grocery bags.
MHC served 161 new clients in March. In April that number more than doubled to 335. Gentile believes this growth is attributed to the rise of gas and food prices. She said these increases affect families that are living close to the poverty level.
Matthew Shepard's murder shocked the nation. The 21-year-old gay college student was killed on Oct. 7, 1998, by two men near Laramie, Wyo. After torturing and robbing Shepard, the men tied him to a fence post and left him for dead.
Shepard was discovered 18 hours later by a passing biker in a coma and died shortly thereafter.
Ten years later, Bloomington High School North's (BHSN) Advanced Theatre Production class presented The Laramie Project, a play by Moises Kaufman, that depicts the aftermath of the nation's best-known hate crime.
Shepard's killers invoked the "gay panic defense" during the trial. They said they were driven temporarily insane by Shepard's alleged sexual advances. One eventually pleaded guilty and was given two consecutive life sentences. The other also received two consecutive life sentences after brokering a deal with Shepard's parents.