Food Bank of NWI Provides Holiday Meals to 700 Families
7th Annual Hope for the Holidays food distribution provides hope, holiday food assistance to hungry neighbors
December 14, 2018 (Merrillville, IN) – The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana today provided holiday food assistance to more than 500 individuals and families during its 7th annual Hope for the Holidays Mobile Marketplace distribution, sponsored by Legacy Foundation and NIPSCO.
A special holiday Mobile Marketplace distribution was also held last Saturday, December 8, in Valparaiso and served more than 200 families.
“We know the holidays can be tough and often more demanding for many of the families we serve,” said Steve Beekman, executive director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “So we try to do a bit more this time of year to help our neighbors who are just trying to make ends meet and provide a nice holiday for their families. Thanks to our sponsors, volunteers, and community partners, we were able to serve a total of 700 additional families through this year’s Hope for the Holidays distributions. ”
Hope for the Holidays is the Food Bank’s annual effort to provide additional food assistance to individuals facing hunger this season. Individuals who visited Friday’s Hope for the Holidays Mobile Marketplace received chicken, milk, a variety of fruits and vegetables, cheese, and bread. Community partners like Northshore Healthcare, Regional Mental Health, Geminus, and Purdue Extension were on hand to share additional information and resources to those visiting Friday’s Marketplace; and Santa even stopped by to spread holiday cheer to those waiting in line.
Throughout the year, the Food Bank distributes more than 4.5 million meals to kids, adults, and seniors struggling with hunger in Northwest Indiana. Through the efforts of 100+ partner food pantries, soup kitchens, and other direct-service programs—like Mobile Marketplace—approximately 25,000 people eat something from the Food Bank every month.
“People often think that hunger is more predominant during the holiday season, but that’s not necessarily true. Nearly 100,000 individuals face hunger in Lake and Porter Counties throughout the year,” said Beekman. “Hunger is a critical issue in our community no matter the season, but it often appears more widespread during this time of year due to increased bills and added holiday expenses.”
Mobile Marketplace is the Food Bank’s traveling food distribution program, which visits a different community each week to provide food assistance to individuals, families, and underserved neighborhoods across Lake and Porter Counties. The final Mobile Marketplace of the year will be from 4-6 on Wednesday, December 19 at New Creation Ministry in Highland, Indiana. Additional information can be found at foodbanknwi.org/marketplace.
About the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana
The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is the largest hunger relief organization in Northwest Indiana, and the only food bank serving Lake and Porter counties. Since 1982, the Food Bank has provided countless nutritious meals to hungry neighbors across the Region, and in 2017 distributed a record-breaking 4.5 million meals into the community. Through its network of 100+ partner agencies, mobile food distributions, and direct service programs for seniors, adults, youth and families, the Food Bank gives hope and hunger relief to nearly 25,000 people each month. Visit foodbanknwi.org to learn more and join the fight against hunger today.