The Impact of Brackets for Good

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by Megan Ellis

Happy Thursday, everyone! March Madness is over, but I wanted to give a quick update on the impact of your donations to our Brackets for Good campaign. We may have been edged out in the opening round, but we were able to raise $5,501 for Gleaners’ School Based-Pantry Program. Exciting stuff!

Your support means more of our most vulnerable students have access to the necessities they need to succeed—at school and at home. Here is how one of our school pantry coordinators describes the impact of the program at her school:

A senior in high school was kicked out of her home. She is living with her boyfriend who is currently unemployed, and she is trying to graduate. She approached a teacher that she trusted and told her they only had $26 for food and no vehicle. She and her teacher visited the school pantry and got enough food for several days. The student knows she can come any day to get what she needs to take home.

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This story is one of many I hear across all our school pantries. Your support means we are breaking down barriers of access and awareness on where to receive food. What a great motivator to keep doing more. Have I mentioned yet I love my job?

Our school pantries are just one way Gleaners is leading the fight against hunger. Want to know more about our youth programs or how you can help? Leave a comment below.  

A Gleaners Loss – But it was all in fun

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by Willie Matis

For the 2nd Annual Gleaners v. RISE basketball game, our team knew we need to bring the heat.  However, it wasn’t enough to get over the hump.  So for the 2nd time in 2 years, the Gleaners team was defeated by the RISE staff in the annual basketball challenge.

BUT IT WAS FUN!

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Besides the basketball game, there were mini challenges throughout the night to keep the crowd involved.  Too bad, the only challenge we won was using a straw to pick up M&Ms and drop them into a cup.  GREAT JOB DAVID! (pictured in the middle)

RISE staff and students have been great partners in the fight against hunger.  It is always a delightful time in the warehouse when the RISE bus pulls up because you know that they will bring sincere energy to any task at hand.  Volunteers, as we say it time and again are the lifeblood of the Gleaners organization, and we can not thank RISE enough for all that they do to help combat hunger in central Indiana.

A great night last night, and it was a great way to celebrate a fantastic partnership!

WATCH OUT NEXT YEAR. We’re coming after ya!

Will you help us invite our Representatives to Gleaners?

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by Eddie Oliver

As we anxiously await the arrival of summer’s sunny days, thousands of Hoosiers are anxiously waiting to figure out where their next meal is coming from. A new report from the Census Bureau finds evidence of a “new normal” in which the smallest change in a person’s situation, such as the loss of a job, can dramatically alter the family’s economic situation. More and more people need a strong safety net that will catch them when they fall and help them regain their feet.

Testimony from one of our School-Based Pantry coordinators shows how essential Gleaners’ programs are in combatting the effects of this “new normal”:

A parent suddenly lost his job a week before Christmas. His wife visited the pantry in tears, very thankful for the help and very humbled by the availability of support.

Here at Gleaners, we want our government leaders to know about the everyday struggles of the families we serve. Will you help us invite members of Congress to visit Gleaners and learn more about hunger in central and southeast Indiana? Feeding America has made it easy for you! Just go to their website and use their standard form to invite your Congressman or Senator.

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You know about the important work we are doing to end hunger in central and southeast Indiana. Help us make sure that Washington gets the message too.

Rachel’s Recipes: Spring Clean your Meals

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Note from Willie – When I read the title of this blog that Rachel sent to me, I was very intrigued to know what Spring Cleaning meant for meals. So, I hope you are as intrigued as I was. It’s a good read


 

by Rachel Conn

It finally feels like spring, and consistent warm weather is just around the corner.  After such a long winter, I can’t wait to see the flowers bloom and to open the windows at my house.  Like many of you are probably planning on doing, I am about to start spring cleaning my house.

Did you know that there are ways to spring clean your meals as well?

broccoliAn easy way to start fresh with your meals is to incorporate fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.  Great tasting choices like spinach, squash, broccoli, green beans, mustard greens, peas and rhubarb are all in season from March through May.

The USDA recommends adding lean protein to your meals instead of fattier alternatives.  Great examples of lean protein are skinless chicken, turkey, beans, and lean beef.  The USDA also recommends adding seafood to your plate twice a week. Salmon, cod and tilapia are all easy and healthy options for your spring time meals.

milkTry adding dairy to your diet in creative ways to liven up your plate.  You can make smoothies out of low fat milk, substitute Greek Yogurt for sour cream and try milk alternatives like soy or almond milk.

Check out the USDA’s 10 tips for building a healthy meal below.  This sheet will give you easy ways to freshen up your meals and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables.

What are your favorite recipes during the spring?  Share them in the comments section below!

USDA 10 tips

 

MondayMotivation: Our Volunteers

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by Harvey Bananas

HERE YE, HERE YE…

Today, I consider myself, the luckiest monkey… on the face of the earth.

Today is a GREAT DAY, and the reason being…

VOLUNTEERS!

Today is the first day of Volunteer Appreciation Week at Gleaners!  DID YOU KNOW?!? If we didn’t have any volunteers here, we’d have to fill 34 FULL-TIME POSITIONS to make up for the man hours that you individuals and groups bring?

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Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization here at Gleaners Food Bank, and we can not thank you enough.  I know that I get to monkey around more often than not because I can count on YOU to help out.  What you do to help feed hungry Hoosiers is invaluable.

I just have one request… can you comment below with your favorite part of volunteering at Gleaners?  We want to compile something to help encourage others to get involved with the cause!  Thanks!

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