Ribbon cutting showcases growth, impact, and potential of the new Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana celebrated the official ribbon cutting of its new facility, located at 6490 Broadway, Merrillville, on Thursday, May 16. The day marked just over a year since the Food Bank announced its move to the new facility alongside the public phase of its Fighting Hunger, Growing Hope capital campaign. The event showcased the growth, impact, and future initiatives of the organization.

“A lot has changed since we first introduced this vision a year ago,” said Steve Beekman, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “We’ve completed additional construction and added significantly to the organization’s storage capacity. Being able to acquire and distribute more fresh and healthy food has made a huge impact on our service to the community.”

Since the move was announced last May, the Food Bank constructed programs and operations offices, finished building and installing a 5,000sf cold storage unit, and recently put the finishing touches on its new board room and lobby. Donor recognition and mission-focused pieces were installed throughout the lobby, highlighting individuals, groups, and organizations that have contributed at certain levels to the capital campaign.

“It’s because of our donors, volunteers, community partners, and other committed friends that the Food Bank is in this facility right now and able to make this great impact on Northwest Indiana,” said Beekman. “This marks a momentous event in this organization’s history, and I credit this generous and supportive community in making it all possible.”

Donors recognized during the event included the John W. Anderson Foundation, the Boomsma Family, Dutch Farms, Eleanor Leese, Foundations of East Chicago, and Strack and Van Til. Representatives from each shared a few words with the audience, driving home their commitment to hunger relief in Northwest Indiana.

“As honorary chairs of the Fighting Hunger, Growing Hope campaign, Shawn and I have been proud to share the Food Bank mission and vision with our community,” said Jeff Strack, President and CEO of Strack and Van Til. “The vision of this organization—in this facility—is inspiring. But more importantly, it’s necessary.”

Nearly 300 people attended the Ribbon Cutting event, with representatives from multiple chambers supporting the effort. Sue Reed, President and CEO of Crossroads Chamber of Commerce, was also on hand to pass the official ribbon cutting scissors to Beekman.

“Today is a celebration. It’s our time to share of how far we’ve come as a community dedicated to hunger relief, and take pride in the great work that has been done,” said Beekman. “The ribbon cutting symbolizes the tremendous impact this organization… this facility… and this community has already brought to Northwest Indiana, as well the positive impact it will have for many years to come.”