Couple's food collection startup helps Michiana's hungry

NOW: Couple’s food collection startup helps Michiana’s hungry

GRANGER, Ind. -- 

The summer months are a difficult time for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. A time when donations are low and the shelves are hard to stock.

So it’s donations from people like David and Eileen Woods who keep the food bank going. The couple created a food collection service in their neighborhood that brings in hundreds of pounds of food every month.

They call it iPORCH in the Irongate Estates neighborhood. That stands for Indiana Porches of Residents Combating Hunger.

"We have about 20 out of the 100 homes in Irongate Estates that do contribute," said David.

The pair heard about the idea from their daughter, who knew of a similar process being used in North Carolina.

“We thought why not try it here? There are needy people in South Bend, Indiana too,” said Eileen.  

David and Eileen drive around their neighborhood once a month, collecting all the donations set out for them.

“We get all kinds of contributions. It's to help people out," said Eileen. "It makes us feel good that we maybe are helping somebody. You know, because there are a lot of people hungry as we all unfortunately know."

They started the collection program seven years ago. At that point they thought any amount of food they could collect would be a step in the right direction.

"You can't go without food, so we thought that's the most basic need of every human being alive and so whatever we can do there would be good,” said David.

Now they average more than 250 pounds of food every month. To date, the couple has donated almost 18,000 pounds to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, a place where they’ve become almost like family.

“Summer is a very challenging time here for food banks and food pantries, so we do rely on their collections every month that they come in," said Marijo Martinec, the associate director at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

It's a commitment the couple says is an easy one to make, and it's something they enjoy to do together. 

David and Eileen say they would love to help others start iPORCH in their own neighborhoods. Anyone interested in starting it up can contact them at [email protected] or reach out to the food bank for more information.

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