INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In just three days, Hoosiers raised nearly $220,000 to help local food banks meet the surge in demand due to coronavirus.
The Pack the Pantries virtual food drive raised a total of $219,384 for Gleaners and Midwest Food Bank from Friday morning through the weekend. The bulk of that, some $160,000, was raised Friday alone through text and website donations.
The response from our viewers exceeded even my wildest expectations,” CJ Hoyt, news director for FOX59 and CBS4, said. “I am floored by the power of the Hoosier spirit and exceptionally grateful. Thousands of families will have food on their table over the next few months thanks to this amazing generosity.”
The money raised will feed 43,878 families in Indiana. Just $5 can feed a family of four for a day because food banks are able to buy in bulk at wholesale prices.
The demand for food has doubled and, in some areas, tripled over the last few weeks as COVID-19 leads to job losses and business closures throughout the state.
Midwest Food Bank told us they typically distribute $3 million worth of food in a month but in March that amount doubled to $6 million.
“Midwest Food Bank is so grateful to be a part of a community that acts by faith and lives it out by showing unconditional love for those who have been greatly impacted by this pandemic,” Executive Director John Whitaker said. “God bless you all for your faithfulness and continued support.”
Gleaners told us the crisis means they are spending $500,000 over their budget every week.
“Relationships are deeply tested in times of crisis and we see the true nature of people and organizations,” John Elliott, president and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, said. “It is a privilege to collaborate with Midwest Food Bank and many other partners to serve a daunting number of neighbors, but we could not do so without the astounding generosity of so many individuals here in central Indiana. On behalf of those families in need who often don’t have a voice, thank you.”
The donation drive was a collaboration between FOX59 and CBS4, with help from partners iHeartRadio and Cumulus Media.
If you’d still like to give, it’s not too late. Head to fox59.com/PackthePantries for donation details.