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Families can receive 40 pounds of pre-packed groceries

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana goes mobile to maintain food assistance program

Contributed By:The 411 News

Volunteers needed to help families in need

Halting its mission of providing food to hungry families is not an option for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, even during this national public health emergency that has turned into an economic slowdown.

Americans have been asked to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic and only go out for essential food and health needs.

The Food Bank can’t open its doors to the hundreds of patrons who usually come in each week to get food for their tables because of state public health guidelines limiting gatherings to 10 people or less.

But what they do have are 21st century ways of delivering foods.

Its Drive Thru Mobile Market is offered several times a week at various sites throughout Lake and Porter counties.

“We are prepacking approximately 40 pounds of nutritious groceries and distributing them to up to 550 households each time, while supplies last,” said Victor A. Garcia, Executive Director.

“Milk only” is offered at Pop-Up-Milk distributions in random locations in the two counties while supplies last.

The Senior Food Box program serves 1400 and is at capacity. Seniors not in the program who need food assistance can send a proxy or representative to pick up groceries on the senior’s behalf from one of the upcoming Mobile Market food distributions.

The Food Bank currently has nearly 100 partner agencies, pantries, and soup kitchens that are currently offering food assistance and other resources. Many of them have restricted hours and are offering drive thru service as a safety precaution. To find these services in your community, visit www.foodbanknwi.org/get-help.

Today, Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration called on Hoosiers to help keep the state’s network of food pantries open. FSSA Secretary Jennifer Sullivan said, “Food pantries are critical harbors of hope in many communities, and with them facing difficulties operating and possibly reducing the food supply to neighbors in need, it’s time to sound a loud call for help across the state.”

Food Bank of NWI and pantries are supported by a volunteer workforce that is over the age of 60 and now are choosing to stay at home to protect themselves from the spread of the virus. Sullivan urged anyone not in a vulnerable population or demographic to help at a nearby food pantry.

Upcoming grocery distributions are Wednesday, March 25 from 4-6pm at New Creation Ministry, 9738 Fifth St, Highland; and Saturday, March 28 from 8-10am at Food Bank of NWI, 6490 Broadway, Merrillville.

Attendees should arrive 30 minutes early and bring additional bags and boxes for transport. To find the most recent schedule, visit www.foodbanknwi.org/mobilemarketplace. Real time updates can also be found on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/FoodBankOfNorthwestIndiana

Story Posted:03/23/2020

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