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Indianapolis Urban League's pandemic food drive still feeding families 55 weeks later

Volunteers distribute food to about 600 families every week.
Indianapolis Urban League Food Drive 2021
Posted at 11:46 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 00:48:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — "This is usually how it is every Tuesday morning. We start off with the big crowd and it usually takes us about an hour to get through them," David Gray, volunteer with the Indianapolis Urban League said.

When the pandemic started just over a year ago, volunteers at the Indianapolis Urban League, like Gray, would have ever predicted that only 13 months later their weekly food distribution would still be feeding families.

"This is week 55. So, 55 weeks," Gray said. "Honestly, at the end of every month that we've done this for the first few months I figured that was going to be the end and the next week they'd be like, no we're keeping it going."

For the past year, Gray has had a close up look at the effects of the pandemic with the line of cars serving as a gauge on the damage done to so many families and so many people. Regardless of the time of year or even whether the Indianapolis Urban League has distributed food supplies to roughly 600 families for 55 weeks in a row.

"The amount of people that come has changed, but the difference is in the first couple of months were done in the first hour or two hours," Gray explained. "Now, it's the first three or four hours, but we always end up running out of food because the need is so great."

While the Indianapolis Urban League didn't set out to host 55 consecutive food drives, there is no plans on stopping now. As long as the community has a need, you can find the organization and volunteers like Gray, offering their help.

"When you come here, we don't ask any questions. We don't ask anything other than how many people are in your household and what zip code you live in," Gray said. "So, if you need assistance there's nothing wrong, that why we're here. We're here to help you."

The Indianapolis Urban League hosts their food drive every Tuesday at 777 Indiana Avenue in downtown Indianapolis at 10 a.m.