Indiana National Guard Leaving Hoosier Food Banks

Sep 15, 2020

Volunteer Earl Banks guides a load of food to a waiting van at a Denver branch of the Volunteers of America.
Credit DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP

The Indiana National Guard is scheduled to end its six-month deployment to aid Indiana’s food banks on September 30.

Like many food banks, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana saw an increase in demand when the pandemic began back in March. It also had to switch to a no-contact distribution model, meaning all food needed to be pre-bagged and boxed. 

 

“That required additional volunteers that, unfortunately, for a couple of weeks, we didn’t have,” said Marijo Martinec, Executive Director and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

 

She says that after those couple of weeks, 20 National Guard troops were deployed to the food bank to help pack and deliver food.

 

“We sent them out on distributions and helping us really run this food bank over the past five months,” Martinec explained.

 

With those troops scheduled to leave at the end of the month, Martinec says that the food bank is back to recruiting volunteers, not only for its main site in South Bend, but also within its six-county service area.

“We have been doing bonus distributions in various communities each week and we need volunteers to help with those drive-through distributions,” Martinec added.

 

For more information on donating to or volunteering at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, visit their website here.