Hunger Action Month 2022 – Seed Planting Ceremony

On September 26, 2022, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and Families Anchored in Total Harmony, Inc. (FAITH CDC) held a Seed Planting Ceremony commemorating the partnership formed thorough a grant award as part of Feeding America’s Food Insecurity Equity Impact Fund $425,000 Grant Awarded to Address Food Insecurity Disparities by Race and Ethnicity in Northwest Indiana. Thanks to the support of the Feeding in America Food Security Equity Fund, these critical dollars will be used for program expansion and the creation of a freezing operation to extend the life of fresh produce grown on Faith CDC’s urban farm located at 656 Carolina in Gary.

A host of community leaders, elected officials, volunteers and supporters gathered at the farm for the grant announcement. Pastor Curtis Whittaker, founder and visionary of Faith CDC, grew up only blocks away from the farm. He expressed his gratitude and excitement over the plans for the innovative expansion of the food security and preservation program. The partnership with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana will allow the work to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity in Northwest Indiana to move forward by developing solutions to improve food insecurity and to create a more just food system. “This is God’s vision for us and is a faith movement,” said Whittaker. “Because of tremendous partners like the Food Bank of NWI, Feeding America, the Legacy Foundation, Indiana University and several others, we have been able to grow and even employ young people during the summer. Today, we celebrate, but tomorrow we go to work because we have a lot to do to make our vision become a reality. I am thankful for the volunteers who have put their feet where their faith is and are walking this out with me, and we are not done yet.” Whittaker went on to share that the funds will be used to renovate the property at 576 Carolina St. where the equipment for the flash freezing process will be housed. With every award from the Food Security Equity Impact Fund, a minimum of 85% of awarded dollars are allocated to community partners, purposefully driving resources to organizations with historical barriers to access funding, led by and serving people of color.

“We are grateful for this unique collaboration with Faith Farms,” said Victor Garcia, President & CEO of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “It is a project rooted in the community, led by those of the community, to benefit neighbors of this community in Gary. Partnering with Pastor Whittaker and this urban farm is a partnership that ties us to what growers are doing right here in Lake County. It is critical that we work alongside this driven team and support their efforts by leveraging resources to which we have access. With this investment, we are building upon the strength of our area to provide for its people. We look forward to the expanded ability to source locally grown produce due to this freezing operation and to share this harvest with our neighbors struggling with food insecurity.”

The following elected officials attended and expressed sentiments of support:

US Congressman Frank J. Mrvan
State Senator Eddie Melton
State Representative Mike Andrade
State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith
Gary Mayor Jerome Prince
Calumet Township Trustee Kimberly K. Robinson
Gary City Council President William Godwin
Lake County Councilman Charlie Brown
Lake County Assessor LaTonya Spearman

The event concluded with officials planting seeds to officially launch the project expansion.

To read about the ceremony CLICK HERE

To hear directly from Food Bank of Northwest Indiana CEO, Victor Garcia, about the project CLICK HERE