INDIANAPOLIS — A local organization is working to address food insecurity in the community, and it'll soon be ramping up its efforts thanks to the United Way's Central Indiana COVID-19 Economic Relief Fund.
"ProAct Indy" received $35,000 from that fund, and the money is being used to build a mobile food pantry.
WRTV6 teamed up with the United Way to encourage donations to the fund.
Inside Shepherd Community Center, you'll find volunteers and a whole lot of food. Food that's being packaged up and will soon go to a family in need.
"The need is immense. We have served over 5000 families since March," Derrin Slack, the founder of ProAct, said.
ProAct teamed up with the Shepherd Community Center to package 400 boxes of meals. Those meals will be distributed here this week, and some will be home delivered.
"A lot of families can't leave their homes, where they don't have transportation to come to get the resources that they need," Slack said. And soon, they'll be able to deliver food to even more people throughout Marion County.
ProAct plans to use their C-Cerf funding to renovate a 28-seat passenger bus. The bus will be transformed into a mobile food pantry and used to help meet the growing need in the community.
Paul Washington says there is a greater need than people would even imagine for the mobile pantry. He knows first hand.
"We actually received a couple of packages because we got caught in that pocket of need," Washington, who now volunteers with ProAct and Shepherd Community Center, said.
"You find a reason to live for something bigger than you, and through interactions, you realize you have a real impact on people's lives, and they're able now to impact other people's lives in more positive ways too," Slack said.
Slack says at the end of the day, they're providing more than just a meal.
"When someone stands in the gap for you, it encourages you to do the same for someone else, and so that's what we've seen. We've seen people step up to be volunteers if they get back on their feet," Slack said. "It's just a wonderful thing to see this come full circle for a lot of families."
ProAct leaders say they also partner with other local organizations and food pantries, which the bus will help them do.