Gleaners distributes food during mega event at state fairgrounds

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana hosted a “mega” drive-through food distribution event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.

Gleaners kicked off its Mega Fresh Mobile distribution at the fairgrounds.

The distribution is in response to the coronavirus pandemic and comes at a time when Gleaners says it has seen a dramatic increase in the number of food-insecure Hoosiers.

“Among the many challenges of responding to a pandemic, the ability to distribute fresh, perishable food has been among the most difficult, said John Elliot, president/CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, in a release to News 8. “With many of our traditional partners either closed or reducing distributions, we have a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen meats to share.”

In March and April 2020, 13.8 million pounds of food was distributed, up from 6.7 million pounds over the same time period in 2019, according to Gleaners.

Gleaners said as many as 30,000 emergency food boxes are being distributed weekly throughout the 21 counties it serves.

Joe Slater with Gleaners Food Bank said Tuesday the plan was to transport nearly 250,000 pounds of food from their warehouse to the fairgrounds Saturday.

The second part of the distribution event will take place May 23 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Saturday’s distribution event at the fairgrounds began at 10 a.m. and was scheduled to end at 3 p.m.