Indy Hunger Network awards over $93,000 to 23 food pantries in 2022
Indy Hunger Network awarded over $93,000 to 23 food pantries across the greater Indianapolis area through our 2022 Grant Program for Food Pantries. These funds will go toward helping food pantries with a variety of needs, including increasing capacity in food pantries, improving operations, and adopting best practices.
“We had a lot of good interest [in the program] this year,” Alex Sindorf, Food Assistance Programs Manager at IHN, said. “We had quite a few applicants who had never applied for a grant from us before, we were able to fund several of those applications as well, and I think we made a really great impact with the funds that have been allocated.”
Now almost three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indiana, Sindorf said that this year, many pantry leaders were requesting funds to aid in improving the in-person pantry experience, rather than a focus on more outdoor distribution or delivery mechanisms that were common at the early phases of the pandemic.
“This year, I think a lot of pantries are rethinking their distribution models, rethinking the way their pantry operates,” Sindorf said. “We’re starting to see less of just trying to keep up with demand and more trying to rethink the entire structure. We’re seeing requests to help pantries expand so that they can keep up with more clients and serve people in a better way with more choice and interaction.”
One such pantry that Sindorf highlighted was BU Wellness Network. BU Wellness Network had been working with Indy Hunger Network in the past to adopt Healthy Nudges practices. At the time, Sindorf said the organization had a relatively small pantry in terms of both clients and physical space. Now, after having moved to a larger space, BU Wellness Network is using funds received through the IHN Pantry Grant Program to better utilize their new space, serve more people, and implement even more Healthy Nudges.
“Increasing that pantry’s ability to really source, store, distribute, and promote healthy foods and continue to build that relationship is one that stands out,” Sindorf said. “It’s been really encouraging to see pantries aligning their new models with the best practices that we’ve been talking about.”
The Indy Hunger Network Food Pantry Grant Program was created to help serve some of the over 200 food pantries in Marion County as part of the wider food pantry network that IHN facilitates. Rather than starting new food pantries, this program is designed to support existing pantries to be as effective as possible in meeting the needs of the community.
“Because they’re often volunteer-run and have small budgets, [pantries] may know what they want to improve and they may even know how to improve it, but there are too many barriers between where they currently are and where they want to be,” Sindorf said. “Those barriers tend to be time and money. That’s why the program is important. It’s a way to help our existing food pantries to be more effective at serving the community, and in doing so, we help to close the meal gap and make sure that people are getting the food that they need.”
For pantry leaders interested in the Food Pantry Grant Program, the grant cycle is expected to open again in August 2023. Stay tuned to the IHN website and social media channels for information regarding upcoming grant cycles. For more information about how Indy Hunger Network can help their organization, pantry leaders can contact us.
The 2022 Indy Hunger Network Food Pantry Grant Program was supported by Corteva Agriscience, the City of Indianapolis, and the Marion County Public Health Department. The full list of 2022 grant recipients is below:
Andrew’s Harvest Food Pantry
Bread of Life Pantry
Brightwood Community Center Food Pantry
BU Wellness Network
Christ Church Apostolic Harvestime Food Pantry
Crooked Creek Food Pantry, Inc.
Diversity Church–Share Food Pantry
Emmaus Food Pantry
Grace Care Center
Interchurch Food Pantry of Johnson County
Judah Ministries Inc Food Pantry
Mid-North Food Pantry, Inc.
Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church Monthly Missional Pantry
Mt. Carmel Church Food Pantry
New Direction Church
Northside Mission Ministry
Pantry of HOPE
Providence Cristo Rey High School
Sanders Temple COGIC
St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
The Vine Ministry of Liberation A.M.E. Zion Church
Westminster Neighborhood Services