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Big changes at Gleaners Food Bank due to virus concerns

Community Cupboard will be drive up only
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Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 15:23:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gleaners Food Bank is making some big changes this week in the way it distributes food at its Community Cupboard on the Indianapolis southwest side.

In response to the coronavirus and flu season, a drive-through system will be used to give out food at the cupboard on Waldemere Avenue. The pantry itself, including restrooms, will be closed.

"As the situation continues to evolve, we're being mindful of the role that we play in any disaster, be it a natural disaster or quickly spreading disease such as coronavirus," said Gleaners President and CEO John Elliott. "We recognize that an increased burden will be placed on the charitable hunger-relief network, and that as a leader, Gleaners has a responsibility to be both proactive and measured in our response."

Staring Tuesday, family meal boxes will be distributed outside the building. Fresh produce will also be available.

Here are the hours for this week:

  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
  • Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m
  • Thursday, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m

Saturday distribution is cancelled due a lower number of staff and volunteers available. The Senior Shopping Day scheduled on March 16 will go on as scheduled, but in the drive-through format.

"We feel modifying our distribution is a good step, eliminating the need for clients, staff and volunteers to congregate in our waiting area," said Elliott.

On a typical day, an average of 350 households receive food through the Community Cupboard.