The idea for the Food Bank in Northwest Indiana was born in 1981 when two local United Way and Steel Worker representatives at a conference in Indianapolis learned about how a food bank could positively impact their community. They were so inspired that they brought the idea back home to the Region and, within a year, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana was established.
At first the Food Bank was only distributing salvaged food, but in 1989 the organization began obtaining food donations from food suppliers and retailers. This was also the year that the Food Bank’s Board of Directors were faced with the very real and very difficult decision of closing the doors for good due to poor economic conditions. The community recognized the negative effects this action would have and rallied together in protest and action. Thanks to generous financial support from Strack & Van Til’s and other community partners, the Food Bank was able to remain open and has been fighting hunger and feeding hope ever since.
Currently, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana operates in a 12,000 square foot barn that has been repurposed to act as a distribution facility. The Food Bank acquires, stores, and distributes more than 4.3 million meals across Lake and Porter counties every year; And each month, approximately 15,000 households are served through the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana partnering agencies and programs.
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country. As food insecurity rates hold steady at the highest levels ever, the Feeding America network of food banks has risen to meet the need. To learn more about Feeding America, visit feedingamerica.org.