August 17, 2020 (Merrillville, IN)
As the effects of the pandemic continue, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana received news that Indiana National Guard support will extend through October 31st. The 26 Guardsmen have been onsite since April, working full time to support the increased need for food assistance in the wake of COVID-19.
“We are very thankful to Governor Holcomb, the State of Indiana, and the federal agencies that have extended the National Guard’s deployment with us. Their support enables us to serve the nearly 20,000 new individuals in Lake and Porter Counties that are needing emergency food support during the Coronavirus crisis. This increase in food insecurity in our community has required that we provide a record 1.1 million pounds of food each month to those in need”, said Victor A. Garcia, CEO. “Without the support of the National Guard, we would not be able to do the work we do today, and for that, we are eternally grateful.”
While being a benefit to the community, the deployment of the Indiana National Guard has positively affected many of the guardsmen. “People are hurting, it does not matter who you are or what you do, COVID has affected everyone. If it were not for the opportunity to work here, I would probably be in that line too, waiting for food, said Ryan Gonzalez, National Guardsmen.
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana continues to provide food assistance through a combination of new and pre-existing methods:
- Senior Food Box Deliveries to seniors that are at highest risk, shut in, lack transportation, or don’t qualify for any type of government assistance.
- Drive Thru Only Mobile Market Food Distributions.
- School Site Mini Mobile Market Distributions for families with children who were on free/reduced lunch.
- Mini Mobile Market Distributions with several bulk items.
- Groceries for food insecure pregnant women.
- Direct support for families identified as at-risk by federal programs.
- Ready to eat food to police squad cars in Griffith and Highland, for distribution during emergency calls.
The Food Bank continues to work closely with the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Feeding America, and a host of community and corporate partners to continue to address the evolving needs in the community.
About the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana has the been leading the fight against hunger in the Region since 1982. The Food
Bank distributes nearly 5 million meals annually to children, seniors, individuals, and families in Lake and Porter Counties through more than 100+ partner agencies, Mobile Market Distributions, Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors, and the BackPack program. Visit foodbanknwi.org to learn more and join the fight against hunger in Northwest Indiana.
Contact: Allyson Vaulx
Vice President of Development & Communications
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