For nearly 40 years, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana has provided critical food assistance to those in need. As the only food bank serving Lake and Porter Counties, the nonprofit has impacted countless individuals and families throughout the Region in meaningful and sustainable ways. The organization frequently hosts food drives and distributions to get community members the resources they need, the most recent of which took place Thursday afternoon at Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ).
“We’re thankful that Calumet College allowed us to be here today to distribute food to local families,” said Program Manager Chanda Dixon. “We planned for 100 families and had a great turn out. It’s good to know that throughout Lake and Porter County we have different locations willing to host our local market distributions.”
CCSJ has been connected with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for many years, receiving contributions for their on-campus food pantry, established in 2013 to help provide students with resources they may need.
“Having been a member of the Northwest Indiana Food Bank for many years and receiving they’re support for our students through our food pantry, we were happy to give back to them and allow them to use our parking lot,” said Linda Gajewski, Director of Public Relations and Communications at CCSJ.
Dixon has been involved with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for 13 years, and has witnessed its life-changing efforts first-hand.
“I enjoy helping and engaging with the community, providing much needed resources for the families that utilize our services,” Dixon said. “Being able to say I’m a part of something that is giving back is really a treat.”
In light of the many challenges COVID-19 has presented in the past few months, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana has been a crucial resource for families that have suddenly found themselves out of work.
“I think this is so crucial right now, especially when you have kids and other household members that are at home due to not being able to go out,” Dixon said. “To provide that extra food they need while they’re in quarantine is incredibly important.”
Volunteers Tim Leib and Charlie Self have both been involved with the Food Bank since April, and have worked hundreds of distributions across Northwest Indiana.
“As Team Leads, we are each in charge of a team underneath a squad leader. We help keep track of what everyone is doing, and make sure we’re taking care of business either at the warehouse or here at local distributions,” Leib said. “People aren’t working as much as they were, and grocery stores aren’t stocked like they normally would be, so families don’t have the food resources they’re used to. This is a great way to get a couple meals in a household so people can actually eat throughout the week. We’ve helped a lot of families and will continue to be there as a resource to turn to when they need it.”
To learn more about the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and how they make an impact on the community, visit https://foodbanknwi.org/.