More money for food pop-up distribution is coming to Indianapolis neighborhoods.
The city of Indianapolis awarded Midwest Food Bank nearly $2.5 million in federal funds for food program expansion. The money will be targeted weekly to communities with the greatest need through large mobile distribution events.
Midwest Food Bank Indiana Executive Director Marcie Luhigo said the organization has already held distributions that serve nearly 200 families in a single day.
“There is still enough need that folks are coming out for an extra pop-up distribution at this level,” Luhigo said.
During the pandemic some smaller food pantries closed and volunteers have been slow to return. Food prices have also been steadily rising for months.
The funds have helped Midwest Food Bank purchase more equipment to scale up projects over the next two years.
Luhigo said the need has continued to rise as federal relief efforts have ended.
“Those programs have gone away and that combined with inflation,” she said. “We’re actually seeing more first time visitors to pantries in Indiana than we’ve ever seen before.”
Last year the food bank distributed more than $60 million worth of food. This year it’s on track to distribute about $74 million.