The American Electric Power Foundation, upon the recommendation of Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), has awarded a $50,000 grant to Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana to support programs addressing food insecurity within the community.
The grant was announced Thursday, Nov. 17 at the annual Turkey Rally. Volunteers from across the community, and I&M, met at the Kroger store along Coventry Lane in Fort Wayne. Each year, Community Harvest rallies the community for the organization’s largest holiday food and fund drive in conjunction with Kroger stores.
“For many years, the AEP Foundation and Indiana Michigan Power have been incredible partners in hunger relief,” said Carmen Cumberland, president and CEO of Community Harvest Food Bank. “We’re so happy to see their smiling faces when they volunteer with us, and we’re proud to have their continued support that benefits our neighbors in need. So many Hoosiers are living with increased food costs, and this grant from the AEP Foundation will provide thousands of meals to people right here in northeast Indiana.”
Community Harvest Food Bank serves Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties, feeding nearly 21,000 people every week.
“Indiana Michigan Power as well as the AEP Foundation are dedicated to the elimination of hunger in the communities we serve,” said Stephanny Smith, I&M director of communications. “That’s why our partnership with Community Harvest Food Bank is so important, as they help distribute millions of pounds of food each year directly to the public.”
The $50,000 grant will go to help several Community Harvest programs including:
- $10,000 towards the annual Turkey Rally. Volunteers from multiple organizations staged at Kroger locations in Coventry and on Dupont Road on Thursday, Nov. 17 to collect turkeys and proteins, holiday sides, canned goods and monetary donations to help provide holiday meals to people in need.
- $20,000 support the organization’s Farm Wagon mobile pantry program. This program visits all nine counties in the region every week to distribute fresh produce, dairy and other available food items to any residents in need with a drive-through distribution.
- $20,000 is being used as matching funds for the food bank’s donation drive, helping provide a match on each dollar community members donate during the holiday season.
Community Harvest Food Bank was established in 1983 in response to the closure of the International Harvester plant that sent tens of thousands into unemployment. Social service agencies, churches and faith-based organizations were overwhelmed with requests for assistance and people were finding it difficult to feed their families.
Last year alone, the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana distributed 13 million pounds of food to over 91,500 individuals across the community.
To find out how to help those in the community have access to nutritious foods, a support system and hope for a better future, visit www.communityharvest.org/give-help.