The Indiana National Guard will continue assisting the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana in meeting the larger than usual demand for food aid due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Victor Garcia, CEO of the Merrillville-based food bank, said Monday the 26 guardsmen on site since April will continue working full time at the food bank through at least Oct. 31.
“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,” Garcia said.
“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. 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.”
Guardsman Ryan Gonzalez said he can relate to the Region families and individuals he’s serving at the food bank.
Since the Pandemic the Food Bank Has:
1. 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.
2. Drive Thru Only Mobile Market Food Distributions (Listed on the PanoramaNOW Calendar of Events)
3. School Site Mini Mobile Market Distributions for families with children who were on free/reduced lunch
4. Targeted Mobile Market Food Distributions for Displaced/Unemployed Individuals in hospitality, retail, etc.
5. Mini Mobile Market Distributions with several bulk items
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is the largest hunger relief organization in Northwest Indiana, and the only food bank serving Lake and Porter counties. Since 1982, the Food Bank has provided countless nutritious meals to hungry neighbors across the Region, and in 2017 distributed a record-breaking 4.5 million meals into the community. Through its network of 100+ partner agencies, mobile food distributions, and direct service programs for seniors, adults, youth and families, the Food Bank gives hope and hunger relief to nearly 25,000 people each month.
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