Hoosiers packing food boxes for Hoosiers in need

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Millions of Hoosiers are looking for hope right now since being out of work. Many of them are struggling to put food on the table. But some local organizations are teaming up to help.

The Midwest Food Bank of Indiana and The Salvation Army have teamed up to provide 10,000 boxes of food for hungry Hoosiers. They’ve transformed an exhibition hall at Lucas Oil Stadium into a food distribution center to meet the increased demand during the pandemic.

“It’s pretty cool to see everyone coming together. and one of the reasons I joined the national guard to help out with things like this for the great state of Indiana, said Indiana National Guardsman Private James Ford. 

Ford has been at Lucas Oil preparing since last week and doing some of the heavy lifting. 

“We got these pallet jacks here and what we’re doing is we’re going around we have four different lines we’re filling over 10,000 boxes. So, my main job is to make sure everybody has what they need, Gatorade, tomatoes, things like that,” said Ford. 

All the volunteers are wearing masks and gloves and working six feet apart so they can stay safe while lending a helping hand. 

“Right now, in this facility, we have a half of a million dollars’ worth of food that’s going to go out into the community. it’s just an amazing process. you can see we have the national guard here helping, we have people from Lucas Oil they’re employees,” said Midwest Food Bank of Indiana, Executive Director, John Whitaker. 

But the boxes aren’t for everyone.

“These boxes are for the single moms who are at home because they’ve been sidelined with their job and they have children to feed. To the shut-in and elderly, we have special process for these boxes to go to them. The people who were already at risk and are now even more at risk. To those that are most in need. And some that have never been in need before but now are,” said Whitaker. 

They’re also working with their longtime partner the Salvation Army.

“So, when COVID-19 hit and we started to see an increased demand for foods. it was a logical solution for us to reach out to john at Midwest and find out how we can help Hoosiers in need,” said Salvation Army Indiana Division, Incident Commander, Lt. Vinal Lee.

He rounded up some volunteers and they are working all day to pack 5,000 thousand boxes then another 5,000 on Monday so those in need have access. The boxes can feed a family of four for about a week. and the goal is to keep going. 

“People are going to be able to go to their local pantry and get some of these. We supply 320 pantries in 72 counties with the food they need to feed individual,” said Whitaker. 

Although times are tough the Midwest food bank is grateful for those who have sent a dollar or two. But they still need more to feed Hoosiers and they know they will assist in this time of uncertainty.

“Just really the best of what Hoosiers have to offer. Hoosiers do give hope,” said Whitaker. 

Starting Monday, the boxes will be headed to those local food pantries.5 00 boxes will be going to Shepherd’s food pantry on the far east side on Monday. 

To find out where your local food pantry is dial 2-1-1 or use the Community Compass App.

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