FSSA and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Sound urge Hoosiers to get entangled in charitable meals community places throughout Indiana

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.

Volunteers can register at OperationFood.IN.gov. Sign in
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry to encourage Hoosiers to resume or begin volunteering at one of the Indiana food banks and other food distribution charities.
Volunteers are urgently needed as members of the Indiana National Guard will end their temporary six month service in support of Indiana food banks on September 30, 2020. Since their deployment in early April, Guardsmen have served more than 36 million meals to more than four million Hoosiers.
“We are so grateful to the Indiana National Guard for filling a critical void and providing the manpower needed to keep the Indiana nonprofit food distribution network operational during the darkest days of the pandemic,” said Emily Weikert Bryant , Managing Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “As the panels continue to perform non-contact drive-through distributions of prepackaged food in response to the safety concerns of COVID-19, it has been and will take a lot more work than ever to make this possible. When the Indiana National Guard service ends, we look forward to seeing more of our friends who have volunteered in the past – and we look forward to welcoming new volunteers too. “
The nonprofit food distribution network operates 13 regional locations across the state that provide food for distribution to community-based pantries. The locations continue to face increased demand for food from Hoosiers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hoosiers can volunteer by filling out a short form at OperationFood.IN.gov. They will be contacted by their regional board in order to assign volunteers to them. Since the early days of the pandemic, panels have seen a dramatic decline in volunteers as Hoosiers stayed at home, which was particularly true of Hoosiers over 60 who make up the bulk of the panel’s volunteers. Some dedicated volunteers have returned to provide limited help, but Chalkboards and Pantries are now ready to return to regular volunteers for the safe distribution of food.
“The food banks have adapted their operations to prioritize the safety of volunteers and are experienced in providing food to the needy in compliance with public health guidelines. Therefore, we ask Hoosiers to heed the call to continue this mission to meet these critical needs, “said Jennifer Sullivan, MD, MPH, FSSA Secretary. “Our team at FSSA worked with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry to make Operation Food a one-stop shop for finding food in one of Indiana’s nearly 1,750 pantries, donating to feed our neighbors, and now hoosiers with places to go connect their products to communities personally. “
Information from those who volunteer at OperationFood.IN.gov is collected by Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and shared with the nonprofit food network across the state.

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