By: Jackson Eflin, Marketing Coordinator – Second Harvest Food Bank
MUNCIE, IN – The onset of COVID-19 created many challenges for soup kitchens and meal programs – how to continue to take care of society’s most vulnerable while maintain public health and safety? Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is glad to say that many partners in its food-distribution network have risen to the challenge.
Inside Out saw this as an opportunity to ramp up their distributions and forge new partnerships. Since the onset of COVID-19, they have distributed tens of thousands of pounds of groceries through their Blood and Fire Ministries, and the in-house partnership with Inside Out has enabled the Fresh Directions team to produce 20,148 hot meals since the pandemic began.
“We’ve been told that it’s been impactful to see people handing out hot meals and encouraging words, and doing whatever we can to smile behind the mask,” said Bob Ball, Executive Director of Inside Out.
“It helps navigate the stress of the pandemic.”
Another important change was Inside Out’s partnership with Panera Bread. Panera had a great deal of pre-prepared food that would go unused while restaurants were closed, and they were able to find a home for it at Blood and Fire. This prevented the food from going to waste and bolstered the meals Blood and Fire was able to provide.
The Muncie Mission has also refused to let the challenges of the pandemic get in the way of helping people. They run a food pantry distribution three days a week using a truck in their parking lot, continuing to serve an average of 250 meals a day as curbside carryout.
“Like others, we have ratcheted up our distribution efforts during this crisis – Second Harvest has made that possible,” said Frank Baldwin, President and CEO of The Muncie Mission.
The Muncie Mission is also responsible for the meals provided at the Safe Recovery Center, a collaborative effort uniting many other organizations and government entities in a common goal. The Mission serves three meals a day to the facility, which houses individuals facing both homelessness and symptoms of a potential infection.
Second Harvest is proud to collaborate with organizations and their efforts to help the community. With so many sturdy partners, this community will pull through, stronger than ever.
Learn more about these community organizations online. Visit insideoutmuncie.com to learn about all the work Inside Out is doing to revitalize the community, and visit munciemission.org to learn about how Muncie Mission is helping people get back on their feet. You can find out more about Second Harvest’s efforts to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow on curehunger.org.