Two Muncie food pantries land unexpected grants

MUNCIE, Ind. - Second Harvest Food Bank and Muncie Mission Ministries each received a $10,000 grant this month. Both getting much needed funds at an important time.

The grants came from CareSource and the CareSource Foundation, which awarded ten grants to ten food banks across Indiana for $10,000 each as a part of its Days of Caring in Indiana. Delaware County was the only Hoosier county to receive more than one grant.

The foundation gave these grants to community food bank organizations throughout the state as part of a larger effort to help combat hunger and food insecurity in Indiana during the holiday season.

Both recipients had no clue they were being considered for the money.

"They work with insurance and I thought we were going to talk about the business and insurance and how it relates here," said Second Harvest Food Bank president and CEO, Tim Kean. "They said no, not really, we just wanted to make this check presentation.”

At Muncie Mission, executive director Frank Baldwin said a woman from the foundation met with him learn more about the place, possibly to talk about future business plans together. Eventually, the woman made an excuse to run out to her vehicle and came back with a giant check.

“We were shocked," Baldwin said. "I wasn’t even expecting it.”

At Second Harvest, a food distribution center which served 115 different agencies across eight counties, the money will go to stock shelves that had taken quite the hit in recent months.

“In terms of inventory, it couldn’t have come at a better time," Kean said. "Inventory has been decreasing for our organization over a period of months.”

Kean said he would like ten additional semi-tractor-sized loads to get to inventory up a comfortable level to meet the demand.

“In our service area, we have 70,000 people who are food insecure and Delaware County has over 20,000," Kean said. "So, it’s a significant issue and has been for a number of years."

At Muncie Mission, which serves hot meals and provides families and individuals with a food pantry through its Family Service program, the funds will go to stock up food. The ministry sees additional people during the winter months.

“There are families we serve that have no electricity and no heat," Baldwin said. “Around November, December, January, February are the peak months we experience hardship.”

Baldwin estimated the funds could help his agency help serve 2,000 additional families.

Other food banks receiving a surprise check for $10,000 on Nov. 9 – Nov. 10 were as followed:

  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
  • Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
  • Community Food Pantry, Richmond
  • Community Harvest Food Bank, Fort Wayne
  • Food Finders Food Bank, Lafayette
  • Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
  • Tri-State Food Bank, Evansville
  • Gleaners Food Bank, Indianapolis

Since 2006, the CareSource Foundation has awarded nearly 1,200 grants to nonprofits working to eliminate poverty, provide much-needed services to low-and moderate-income families, encourage healthy communities, develop innovative approaches to address critical health issues and enhance the lives of a diverse array of children, adults and families.