INDIANAPOLIS -- The Department of Public Safety and Gleaners will continue a partnership to help feed people in Indianapolis.
The food pantry will return to four locations in high crime focus areas over the next three months. DPS Director David Wantz says the program’s success over the summer helped convince agencies that it needed to continue.
"Gleaners stocked the pantries with nutritious food and an emphasis on fresh produce and food that's high in protein, and over 62,000 people were served," Wantz said. "That showed us there was a need to continue this program."
Of those people, almost 28,000 were children. One thousand two hundred volunteers managed the CARE pantries, the majority of them from DPS agencies. Officials say this helped increase Crime Stoppers reports by 30 percent in the focus areas. Police Chief Rick Hite says there were other crime fighting benefits.
"We saw a reduction of pizza delivery robberies as a result of this process of feeding people," Hite said. "Why is that important? The petty larceny, the cab robberies, the car jackings, the pizza delivery robberies all went down."
The continued effort will be scaled back from what the pantries provided this summer when trucks went out every week to six different locations.