Fort Wayne food bank demand nearing peak pandemic levels

(Photo Supplied/Community Harvest Food Bank)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business)—Fort Wayne-based Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana is marking 40 years in business this year, and the need for its services continues to grow.

Roy Nevil, community engagement coordinator for the nonprofit, told our Partners in News at 21 Alive demand for food is nearly back up to its pandemic peak.

Nevil said during the pandemic, the food bank was serving nearly 1,300 families per week. That number dropped back to pre-pandemic levels of around 650 families in 2021.

However, because of inflation and the rising cost of groceries, the nonprofit is now serving up to 1,200 families per week.

“There is nothing that will touch the heart more than to note that there’s someone that really, really needs food,” Nevil told 21 Alive. “Food insecurity is a real thing and there are people that we know of that have a lack of knowing when they’re going to get their next meal.”

To help meet the growing demand, Community Harvest will be hosting food drives, as well as a “Canstruction” competition. The event will involve teams from 11 area schools that will build statues made from canned food and boxes.

“These things will be anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 cans, and that’s roughly a pound a piece, so…up to 7 tons of food in a structure,” Nevil said. “The cans then come to us, and then we’re able to redistribute them throughout our region.”

Community Harvest Food Bank serves Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties.

You can learn more on how to donate by clicking here.


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