Hoosiers helping Hoosiers Pack The Pantries, more than $100K raised

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INDIANAPOLIS — Thank you, Central Indiana, with your help $122,140 dollars was raised to support Gleaners and Midwest Food Bank in their efforts to keep food on the table for hungry Hoosiers. 

Food banks have been dealing with a harsh reality over the last three months during the coronavirus crisis. Throughout the pandemic, both food banks have seen a greater need to put food on the table for families.

Gleaners says they’re spending at least $500,000 dollars above budget each week to meet needs.

“We’ve seen a flip though; the need has increased more dramatically in Marion County. We went into the pandemic with Marion County about 35 percent of our food distribution. It’s now been tracking about 60 percent of the food, even though it’s gone up in every county,” said Gleaners President, John Elliott

Which is why they have three mobile care units weekly where food is distributed, along with the distributions at Gleaners three days a week. Friday, they held a Mobile Food Drive at Ivy Tech, where 700 families were fed. Similar to the recent food rives at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but on a smaller scale. 

“So, three days a week we’re at the care locations, three days a week. We’re continuing the drive thru pantry at the Gleaners Distribution facility. So, 6 days a week. Monday through Saturday,” said Elliott.

Midwest Food Bank says their budget was $60,000 dollars for this year, but they’re now approaching $750,000 dollars. 

Across the state, it’s estimated that food insecurity went from 13 percent to 20 due to the economic impact of covid-19. But through partnerships and supportive Hoosiers, they’ve still been able to meet the demand.

“So, individuals out there, even in the midst of their own hardship, are reaching out and caring for folks in their own time of need. That’s the best thing you could say about any city, I think. 

Or any individual. So especially in Indianapolis, we have straight partnerships, us and Gleaners and all the other feeding partners,” said Midwest Food Bank, President, John Whitaker. 

And Gleaners agrees, that the support of those willing to give during this time of need makes a difference.

“That’s’ where they come in. Maybe in some ways the fuel in the engine that makes all this work is the generous donors who I know will respond to your message and contribute to the both of us so we can go out and shop for more food,” said Elliott. 

Both organizations say while they’ve seen a reduction in need in the last few weeks, it’s still more important than ever they be able to keep up with demand.

In the spring, our viewers stepped up raising nearly $220,000 dollars to help with the surge in demand due to coronavirus.

“I’d like to actually thank FOX59 and CBS4. Like all things that work well, this is a partnership that has gotten better every year. I love the fact that we are a part of this with our mission partners at Midwest Food Bank,” said Elliott.

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