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Gleaners plans two major food distributions, this coming weekend and next

Need for food assistance way up during pandemic
Posted at 4:35 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 16:42:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gleaners Food Bank is planning two major food distribution events over the next two weekends in Indianapolis.

The first is Saturday, May 16, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The second will be on Saturday, the 23rd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Specifics on the speedway distribution are being finalized, but it will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the IMS main entrance off West 16th Street will be used.

Here's what we know about the fairgrounds event: It will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the 16th, and the public vehicle entrance is Gate 6, off Fall Creek Parkway. All are welcome and Gleaners expects to serve some 5,000 families.

There is a huge need for food assistance in Indiana, according to Gleaners President and Chief Executive Officer John Elliott. In March and April 2020, 13.8 million pounds of food was distributed, up from 6.7 million pounds over the same time period in 2019. As many as 30,000 emergency food boxes are being distributed weekly throughout Gleaners' 21-county service area.

“Among the many challenges of responding to a pandemic, the ability to distribute fresh, perishable food has been among the most difficult," said Elliott. "With many of our traditional partners either closed or reducing distributions, we have a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen meats to share."

"As part of our strategic plan, we made a commitment to focus not just on the amount of food distributed but on the nutritional value of that food. That commitment is even more critical during a health crisis, because we know that food insecurity directly impacts the 10 most prevalent chronic health diseases and conditions – many of which put hungry Hoosiers at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.”

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