Indiana’s food banks serve at least 1.1 million people every year and an increase of food donations and drives help pack the pantries.
Gleaners Food Bank CEO John Elliot says around this season people become more sensitive to the hunger issue.
“You know we’ve got a truckload of hams coming in from Smithfield,” Elliot says. “This is the season when everyone thinks about others in need.”
This month, large donations from companies are common at Gleaners which serves 21 Indiana counties. Executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Emily Weikert Bryant says many smaller organizations will also hold canned food drives.
“You know having food drives during the holidays is amazing, if you’d like to have one during February or June that would also be helpful,” Weikert Bryant says.
She says food banks and pantries work very hard to make sure nothing goes to waste. Volunteers operate 70 percent of Indiana’s food pantries.
Elliot says the issue is front of mind in November and December but after the holidays there will still be 1 million people hungry in Indiana.
“So one of our challenges as hunger relief organizations is how do we spread that same good will and donor generosity out over 365 days,” says Elliot.