Food Bank of Northern Indiana trends during pandemic
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – The Food Bank of Northern Indiana is helping those in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Marijo Martinec, the Executive Director and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana said the face of hunger is very real.
“Now it’s more exposed out there that nationally, we see people waiting in line to go through a food distribution that maybe a year or two or three years ago we weren’t seeing,” Martinec said.
The food bank of Northern Indiana has been holding mobile food drives across Michiana since the pandemic started back in March.
Martinec said the distribution was high at the height of the pandemic, and then in May, numbers were steady. But, by June they saw an increase in the number of people coming to get assistance in food distributions.
Martinec said a couple of weeks ago they had their largest mobile food distribution, with 712 households in a little over two hours.
“We have never done this amount of mobile distributions. I will be here 10 years next month, we’ve never done this amount,” Martinec said.
The food bank is constantly in need of volunteers. This year, due to the pandemic they are operating differently than they were six months ago.
The food bank has had to shift to a pre-boxed and pre-bagged food distribution method
The Executive Director and CEO said before the pandemic the food bank has always been about dignity and client choice.
Since they can’t do that right now, they’ve been running assembly lines to pack boxes for all their distributions including mobile distributions, kids distribution, and for the pantry that is located on-site.
The food bank is always looking for monetary donations or food donations and volunteers. They are also looking for items like non-perishable goods, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products.
There will be two distribution on September 24:
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in South Bend at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana
10 a.m. in Bourbon at Triton Jr./Sr. High School
10 a.m. in Knox at Knox United Methodist Church