Near the end of 2020, local Civic Leaders, Tom Sourlis & Sue Eleuterio issued a holiday challenge to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, offering to match all donations up to $100,000 through December 31st.
“Tom & Sue wanted to directly address the rising demand for food assistance in the Region, while also inspiring others to do the same, through the Half Million Meal Match”, said Victor A. Garcia, CEO of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “The Match opened up the opportunity to provide approximately 600,000 meals for our community”, said Garcia.
Tom & Sue’s Half Million Meal Match Challenge raised a cumulative total of $280,000.
“We are so grateful to the staff and volunteers of the Food Bank for all they have done to help Northwest Indiana residents during this difficult time. We also want to thank every person who has donated to the Food Bank. Every dollar or contribution of food has helped to make someone else’s life a little better”, said Tom Sourlis and Sue Eleuterio.
In 2020, due to a 60% increase in demand, sparked by the effects of COVID-19, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana broke an organizational record, distributing approximately 11 million pounds of food and serving more than 9 million meals. The Food Bank plans to continue COVID-19 response efforts as needed.
“The road ahead is uncertain. To sustain the increased capacity and adequately support families facing hunger, we are expanding our network, extending temporary staff assignments, and consolidating regional food assistance efforts through a newly created Hunger Coalition. We want to be here for our neighbors for the long haul”, said Garcia.