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Drive-thru food giveaway helps hundreds in need amid COVID-19 pandemic

Hoosiers get a helping hand during COVID-19 pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local food bank is helping people who need it the most amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Midwest Food Bank and ITOWN Church hosted a food drive-thru pickup Friday outside of the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

“I was telling him that we were worried about what we were going to fix for supper and the video popped up on my phone to come down here and I thought if that’s not God talking to ya,” said Penny Johnson, who received food in the drive-thru.

For people like Johnson, who just got the news her cancer was back for the third time and is on disability, being able to get a meal in these hard times was a gift.

“It’s almost as good as when they tell you that your cancer is in remission,” said Johnson. “That’s how good it makes you feel. People like this that’s willing to stand out here, out in the open and hand you something and just say ‘thank you and have a great day,’ that’s enough for me, to make me feel good.”

More than 400 cars came through to pick up boxes filled with everything from oatmeal to spaghetti. One of those cars was driven by a man named Kevin Bonds, who found out he had been laid off moments before he arrived.

“It means a lot, I mean people sitting up here helping out,” said Bonds. “So many people in the world need help right now you know and I really appreciate it myself. It shows people care about what’s really going on today.”

The food drive was meant to help those like Bonds and Johnson during a pandemic that’s taken lives and livelihoods.

“It does not discriminate,” said Bonds. “It don’t care if you white, black, green, purple. It doesn’t care what color you are, how old you are. It does not care, it’s coming to get you.”

Event organizers say more than $25,000 worth of food was handed out during the two-hour giveaway. It’s an amount that will just keep growing, in a battle that has only just begun.

“People everywhere just really don’t really know what to do in times like this,” said Bonds. “It’s really scary to me and I hope this thing gets under wraps real soon so everybody will be all right.”

Organizers said they hope to hold more drive-thru food giveaways in the future. They also stressed they are in dire need of donations.