United Way of Allen County’s 2nd Annual Community Food Drive partners with area eateries to benefit local food pantries
February 18, 2022
FORT WAYNE – United Way of Allen County hosted its 2nd annual Community Food Drive February 18-27, 2022 sponsored by Meijer. Three local organizations benefited from this event: Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, and Miss Virginia’s Food Pantry. With the cost of basic needs continuing to rise, more and more households are struggling to make ends meet. This annual food drive is one of the ways United Way is helping relieve some of the barriers people in our community are facing regarding food security.
United Way is proud to once again partner with area restaurants and other eateries to hold this community wide food drive. “It is great to see local food industry businesses, a sector that has been hit hard over the last couple of years, continue to step up and support our community,” states Matthew Purkey, President & CEO of United Way of Allen County. He goes on to say, “even prior to COVID-19, many food banks see a significant drop off of donations following the holidays. By holding our food drive during this time year, we are strategically helping to fill a gap in our community and impact a critical community issue.”
Greg Witte, Executive Director of Miss Virginia’s Food Pantry explains, “during the worst of the pandemic, people got a lot of help, both public and private. Temporary food banks sprang up everywhere, and things like stimulus checks and increased jobless benefits gave people a little breathing room. But a lot of that is drying up now, so it’s no surprise that the number of families turning to Miss Virginia’s for assistance has been steadily increasing. The United Way food drive couldn’t come at a better time.”
United Way of Allen County is grateful to bring everyone together to benefit these great organizations. Roger Reece, Executive Director of Associated Churches states, "United Way has been awesome to make sure that we have the resources to provide basic needs to our community. We are blessed when people come together."
Roy Nevil, Community Engagement Coordinator at Community Harvest made an impactful statement, saying “If there is anything that the last 24 months have taught me, it would be that hunger/food insecurity is just a paycheck away from affecting persons of all demographic segments of our region. We experienced a 100% increase in the number of households who use our services to get through economic uncertainty. Personally, I feel so blessed to be a part of this effort. When you look into the tear-filled eyes of a parent who can feed their children or a spouse who can provide for their ill loved ones- it is an awesome privilege made possible by those in the community who support us with their gifts of food and support. Hoosiers are an amazing group of givers and I am reminded of that reality every day at Community Harvest Food Bank.”