FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2016
CONTACT: Sarah Estell | firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS – The Board of Directors of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana elected three new members at its annual meeting on November 1st. In addition, officers were elected for the 2017 fiscal year, and retiring members were recognized.The new members elected are Leo Dierckman, Managing Director of Oppenheimer Investment Management in Carmel, Indiana; Lewis Ferebee, Superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools; and Bryan Kittleson, Vice President of Merchandising & Advertising with The Kroger Co., Central Division. Board officers for the coming year are Jamie Browning, Chairperson; Laurinda Swank, Secretary; and John Wortman, Treasurer. Gleaners President and CEO, John Elliott, along with senior leaders, presented a review of the past year to a community gathering of approximately 75 people following the Board meeting. “It is humbling to look at the numbers of people we serve – over 250,000 people annually – and think of each individual and their story,” he said. Elliott noted that the model Gleaners provides in its pantries, mobile distributions and children’s programming is designed to respect the dignity of each customer served. Kathy Hahn Keiner, Chief Programs and Agency Relations Officer for Gleaners, noted the changing model for food delivery. “We continually seek the best mix of programs to impact the greatest number of individuals and families,” she said. The focus of hunger as a piece of the overall poverty puzzle, has led Gleaners to partner with a variety of organizations to offer additional services at pantries and mobile distributions. Vision screenings, LED light bulb distributions, books from the IPS Lending Library, flu shots and other programs have been highly successful in the past year, she added. While Gleaners serves over a quarter of a million people annually, COO/CFO Joe Slater noted the cost to provide programs and the ongoing needs being unmet in Gleaners’ 21-county service area. “We distributed nearly 27 million pounds of food in 2016, but based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Feeding America and other organizations, we know that is not nearly enough,” he said. The most recent report from the USDA found more than 326,000 Hoosiers dealing with food insecurity. While food and monetary donations reach their peak during the holiday season, Elliott noted that people are hungry year round. “There will come a time this spring after the giving spirit of the holidays has passed, that our shelves will slowly empty and more food will have to be purchased. Recurring donations make a huge impact during these times, allowing us to purchase nutritional dairy, produce and meats and distribute these items along with non-perishables,” he said. Organizations or individuals who would like to join the fight to end hunger in Indiana can visit gleaners.org/donate or call 317.925.0191.
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