The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana began 34 years ago with two individuals who saw a need in the region and decided to address it. The organization has remained a staple in the community ever since.
However, the food bank in its infancy looked very different from what we know today as the Food Bank of NWI. For the first six years, the food bank did not receive any donations and operated solely by distributing salvage food.
Around its seventh year, the food bank was forced to close its doors due to insufficient funds. This incited protests across the community because the people had grown so dependent on assistance from the food bank. Doors were reopened a year later as a result of financial support from Strack & Van Til, local grocery stores and other community members. This also marked the time in the history of the Food Bank of NWI where the organization began receiving and distributing donated food.
Currently, the Food Bank of NWI distributes 4.3 million meals annually to residents across Lake and Porter counties. Approximately 15,000 Northwest Indiana households receive assistance from the organization each month. In recent years, the Food Bank of NWI has become a member of Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief network in the country. With this support, and support from other organizations such as the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC), McDonald’s of Northwest Indiana and many others, those who utilize the Food Bank of NWI never have to worry about the organization closing its doors due to lack of support again.
For more information on the Food Bank of NWI, visit foundationsec.org.