By: Karen McTague—
The chill in the air made for a great day for a bowl of soup at the first annual Delaware County Fill-A-Bowl fundraiser for the Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB). Nearly 200 people gathered at the Second Harvest office and warehouse to share a meal and learn about the current efforts of the organization to combat hunger in the Delaware County area. SHFB Board Chairman Jeff Sikora, President/CEO of PrimeTrust Financial, provided opening remarks about the work that Second Harvest does throughout the community including the partnerships with local food pantries to distribute food to those in need.
Attendees were made aware of some alarming facts and figures about food insecurity including:
- Overall, 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children faces food insecurity.
- In Delaware County, 1 in 4 children faces food insecurity.
- 40% of food grown in the United States currently goes to waste.
Sikora also reminded attendees of a very recent merger that took place bringing SHFB and the organization Teamwork for Quality Living (TQL) under the same umbrella. TQL has served the Muncie community for 20 years by offering mentoring and support to poverty-stricken families to help get them back on their feet.
President of Second Harvest Food Bank, Tim Kean, addressed the current tactics of Second Harvest in regards to Delaware County including tailgate distribution, Food-4-Kids programming and partnerships with over 40 agencies countywide. Kean explained that future strategic plans including changing this generalized approach to food distribution to focus first on child hunger programs followed by a focus on seniors and the disabled and finally adults 18-60 years of age without children at home.
Kean finished by saying that “in addition to providing programs, education and advocacy to our current clients, the merger with TQL has essentially added another main focus to the organization where we’ll be working with a struggling population of people who are working hard to move from surviving to thriving. The TQL merger is so important because we believe the collaboration only makes us stronger.”
Second Harvest Board Member, Tom Simpson, concluded the event with a call for those in attendance to consider assisting the organization by way of volunteering their time with Second Harvest, donating goods or services to the organization, helping connect the organization with their community contacts or by making a financial pledge.
Karen McTague is Director of Development for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana