INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 19, 2015)-- At Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, their mission is “Food for every table and hope for every future.”
They are very successful, but it’s all thanks to the generosity of Hoosiers. One in eight people in central and southeast Indiana deal with hunger. Many also fall into a gap where they struggle to put food on their table, and their incomes are too high to qualify for any federal hunger-relief programs, such as food stamps or free school meals for children.
“If we receive a donation, we can magnify that unbelievably. Instead of being able to buy a can of food, we can buy five cans with our buying power,” said Cindy Hubert, CEO Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.
Gleaners was founded in 1980 by concerned citizens who collected food in a garage. They now fight against hunger in central and southeast Indiana by collecting, storing and distributing food to those in need. Gleaners has a network of more than 250 partner agencies including: emergency food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
“They're very kind and they're very organized. It's a good place,” said Wanda Kline, Gleaners food recipient.
Wanda is in her 80s. She just recently started going to Gleaners. She has given food and money to others for years, but now she needs some help.
“I haven't been coming very long, but my son was unemployed, and so he said lets go, so I said OK. He lives with me and he's working now and I just get peanut butter and stuff like that,” said Kline.
The CEO of Gleaners knows it’s difficult for most people to ask for help.
“People are often embarrassed to come in and get food. They think that they shouldn't have to be here. What we do is we make sure they're welcomed with open arms,” said Hubert.
One of the biggest parts of Gleaners is their huge group of volunteers. There are 28,000 volunteers who work at Gleaners. All of them do it for free. If they were to get paid, it would cost $2 million! People can donate money, food or time by going on-line or by stopping by Gleaners at 3737 Waldemere Avenue.
If you’d like to help, there are several ways to do so listed on their website.