Indianapolis, IN — Food pantries in Central Indiana have seen a dramatic influx of hungry Hoosiers over the last several weeks due the COVID-19 Pandemic and the demand to feed them is only expected to increase. That is why WTTV-TV (CBS) and WXIN-TV (FOX), have teamed up with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Midwest Food Bank Indiana Division for a Pack the Pantries Virtual Food Drive on Friday, April 10th.
President and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, John Elliott commented, “As Gleaners has
tripled our food distribution to approximately one million meals a week in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it is gratifying to see this unique central Indiana community rally around Gleaners with resources, volunteer time and critical expertise. We also are mindful that we now find ourselves supporting not only our traditional 585 local partners across 21 counties, but dozens of other non- profits, some of whom have closed, are relying on Gleaners to help their families with food – and our role as operator of a perishable food co-op serving food banks across nine states also has increased. With additional food and related costs above and beyond our existing budget now trending over $500,000 per week to serve our 21 counties, we need every dollar and every donor – and we will need them for an extended recovery period past the time the medical aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic subside.”
“This is an unprecedented time in our history that requires unprecedented support to address,” remarked John Whitaker, Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank Indiana. “In the midst of this crisis, it is heartwarming to see the community of Hoosiers, once again, rising to the occasion.
Midwest Food Bank is proud to be partnering with FOX59, CBS4, Lucas Oil, the United Way along with Gleaners, Second Helpings and countless other organizations to
respond. We are continuing to spread our support throughout the state of Indiana through our network of 300+ organizations and have begun forming new strategic partnerships to address the increasing need. If we all do our part to take care of our neighbors, we’ll all get through this and will continue to help feed those in need well beyond this current pandemic.”
Vice President and General Manager of WTTV CBS4 and WXIN FOX59, Dominic Mancuso commented, “The need is now. We asked the staff “’can we turn this around quick’ and they answered with a resounding ‘yes, this week.’ We’re honored to be extending our stations’ Pack the Pantries program at this time of greatest need and help Hoosiers show they care.”
“Many Hoosier families are having a difficult time right now keeping food on the table and the demand on food banks is greater than it’s ever been,” commented CJ Hoyt, News Director for WTTV CBS4 and WXIN FOX59. “We know the Hoosier spirit is strong and people who can are ready to step up and help.”