2013 Summer Servings: Communications, events and community organizing contributed to an increase of 40,000 meals in the summer of 2013 despite changes in school calendars shortening the summer. Research in multiple forms over several years continues to show that awareness of the program is the major issue limiting higher levels of participation.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: The Glean Team was started in 2013. The Glean Team utilizes volunteers to harvest excess and imperfect produce from local farms, gardens and farmers’ markets, and deliver that food to area food pantries. Over 15,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables were provided in its 2013 pilot season.
Fresh Bucks: Fresh Bucks was established in 2013 to enhance economical access to healthy food. Fresh Bucks incentivizes healthy eating by doubling SNAP purchases on local fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets. Fresh Bucks was piloted at the Indy Winter Farmers’ Market in 2013. In 2014, Fresh Bucks is expanding to include five additional markets around Indianapolis.
Pantry Partners: Pantry Partners is a collaborative effort to develop a network of leadership pantries across Marion County and beyond. It is led by Gleaners with support from Interfaith Hunger Initiative, St Vincent de Paul and Indy Hunger Network. The number of lead pantries has increased from two in 2009 to 11 today. A vision of best practices has been established. The volume of food provided by these pantries has increased dramatically. With a generous gift from Dow AgroSciences, IHN has helped with major capital needs for improvement at these pantries, as well as provided reusable shopping bags which highlight the services of 2-1-1.
Breakfast in the Classroom: IHN collected best practices, including Breakfast in the Classroom, and networked those with area school systems. Support was provided for adoption of Breakfast in the Classroom by several schools. Schools interested in starting a Breakfast in the Classroom program, now can use a Guidebook which was developed for support getting started.
BackSacks Program: BackSacks, a program of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, is dedicated to improving the lives of Indiana children by providing BackSacks, which are full of nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable foods to chronically hungry K-6 students over the weekends. Gleaners raises the funds needed and provides the program completely free to schools and to the students. IHN helped with process improvement efforts facilitating the ramping up of the program. With support from this project, Gleaners increased the number of hungry children receiving food on the weekends across their service area from 2,000 in ‘10 to 10,000 by ‘12.