Pop-up food pantries helping Indy families in need during pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds of central Indiana families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis got some much needed encouragement Wednesday in the form of free food.

Molina Gloria never thought COVID-19 would put her out of work.

“I lost my job last week,” Gloria said. She says she lost her job due to the coronavirus crisis.

Gloria joined more than 100 people Wednesday at a pop-up food distribution event for families in need at Barnes United Methodist Church.

“I just say we believe in God and we believe God’s gonna give everything, whatever I need,” Gloria said.

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Tantilea Dickerson isn’t sure she’ll have a substitute teaching job to return to when the coronavirus crisis passes.

“If May 1st, they don’t decide to send us back, I have no job,” Dickerson said.

That makes all of the free food, juice, mushrooms, greens and more incredibly important to her five children and her husband during the governor’s stay-at-home order.

“We need this,” Dickerson said. “Right now, we don’t have anything coming in.”

40,000 pounds of fresh produce were given away at three different churches in town in a joint effort between Indy’s Department of Public Works, the Office of Public Health and Safety and the Midwest Food Bank.

“We are really excited about it because there is surplus food in the system right now because of the restaurant closures. Especially perishables. We wanted to get that out in a creative way to folks that are in need that have been laid off and are really hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John Whitaker, the executive director of the Midwest Food Bank.

To those hurting families like the Glorias and Dickersons, organizers say we’re in this together.

“I feel better” Gloria said.

Other pop-up food distributions planned for this week will be taking place Friday and Saturday from 1-3 p.m. and Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the locations listed below:

  • Hovey Street Church of Christ: 2338 Hovey St, Indianapolis, IN 46218
  • Barnes United Methodist Church: 900 W 30th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208
  • Friendship Missionary Baptist Church: 1301 N Goodlet Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46222