MERRILLVILLE (WLS) -- The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana has seen a 60 percent increase in food distribution since April, a sign of the increased food insecurity in their region since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
"Last year the poundage of food that we distributed to the community was 5 million total, for the entire year," said donor relations coordinator Amy Briseno. "As of August (2020) we are distributing 1.2 million pounds per month. So that is a drastic capacity increase."
As the need has increased, though, the community has stepped up to continue to feed the love.
During the COVID-19 state of emergency, Indiana National Guard troops were deployed to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, where eight remain stationed today.
"Our mission is support the food bank in any way possible," said Sgt. Robert Dyson. "I'll be here until they don't need me."
Volunteer coordinator Sarah Barnard is originally from Merrillville and just started working at the food bank a month ago.
"There's great work that's being done here, and I'm so glad to be a part of it," Barnard said. "In partnership with the National Guard, we're able to collaborate and make sure that no one goes without food."
You can help Feed the Love by donating to our virtual food drive.
If you're in need of food, you can call 773-247-FOOD or click here to locate a food pantry near you.