Indiana Companies Finding New Ways To Fight Hunger
INDIANAPOLIS -- Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has unveiled a new strategic plan to stop hunger.
"We need to do work internally, focusing on people, process, technology and efficiency to deliver on the strategies to which we have committed," said Gleaners' President/CEO, John Elliott. "Our ultimate goal is to reduce the meal gap - currently 53 million meals are missed by Hoosiers in our 21-county service area."
He says the those in need include a variety of people, but what he doesn't like to see is the increase of veterans in the food line.
"We've seen over 20% growth in the last two years in veterans and uniformed military that are in our food lines, and that just should not be."
To help veterans and families entering the food lines, Gleaners has partnered with Corteva Agriscience.
Corteva made a lead challenge gift of $90,000 to support the expansion of the Indiana Produce Co-op and to fund the purchase and distribution of fresh produce to Gleaners' 21-county service area.
"Food is the most basic human need, the engine of life and prerequisite for progress," said Susan Lewis, the senior vice president of enterprise operations for Corteva Agriscience. "Making the world a better place begins with making our communities better."
Lewis said she has personal experience with hunger. She said when she went to school as an engineer, she and her husband were married and had a small child. She said they were very young and didn't have a lot of money. They were able to get help from people in the community to help them with food security.
"I'm very grateful for the community for the help that we got," She said.
Helping people is the goal for Gleaners and Corteva. With this strategy, Gleaners plans to the following by 2023:
- Distribute more than 100 million pounds of food annually
- Distribute a variety of healthy, nutritious foods, with a goal of 80% being Foods to Encourage: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and meal-making items for families
- Focus on collaboration and co-locating services with partners to meet a variety of client needs
- Steward funds and reduce the cost per mean from 24 cents to 13 cents
- Build local strategies by county, becoming a trusted and caring poverty-relief partner
- Assist those who are ready to move to a place of food security for themselves and families
If you want more information on how you can help you can visit Gleaners' website at gleaners.org/action.
(Photo: Madyson McGill)