Third annual Gr8 Pasta Push to help Hoosiers in need

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — WISH-TV is proud to partner with Second Helpings for the third annual Gr8 Pasta Push.

Cash and pasta donations can be made now through June 16.

In 2021, the event collected enough pasta and money to provide more than 145,600 meals in central Indiana.

Second Helpings feeds the hungry by rescuing surplus food, says Nora Spitznogle, the organization’s director.

“There’s no dumpster diving or half-eaten pizzas. It’s all beautiful, nutritious food that is donated from wholesalers, grocery stores, prepared foods from hotels and things, as long as it hasn’t been out to the public,” Spitznogle said. “We take that and prepare over 4,000 meals every day with great volunteer help.”

The meals are then distributed to more than 100 local agencies, including shelters, senior centers, and after-school programs.

“One in four people in Marion County have food insecurity. SNAP benefits are changing. We really think that we’ll see a higher need for our meals,” Spitznogle said.

The kitchens at Second Helpings use more than 1,800 pounds of pasta every week, with elbow macaroni and spaghetti being the most popular items.

“Pasta is a great comfort food,” Spitznogle said. “If you’re in crisis, or living in a shelter or something, pasta’s great and we’ve learned that kids will eat anything with elbow macaroni.”

Every $5 donation to the Gr8 Pasta Push means a meal for a family of four. All funds donated through the Gr8 Pasta Push will help support Second Helpings and may be used to buy pasta or help with the preparation and delivery of meals.

Monetary gifts of up to $20,000 will be matched by Kroger and GEICO Philanthropic Foundation.