Do you have questions about our BackSacks program?


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by Willie Matis

The past couple days, we have been asking for any questions you may have about our BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids Program.

This program is aimed at providing enough nutritious food to students in grades K-6 to last them the entire weekend so that they are equipped to learn when they come back to school on Monday.

Over 10,000 students are served every Friday during the school year, and the program covers 230 schools throughout Gleaners’ 21 county service area.

We hope you keep the questions coming! In one week, our Youth Programs Coordinator Megan will answer them.

Meanwhile… check out a few BackSacks Kids stories as told through this video.

Have questions about the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids Program? List them below in the comments section!

#MondayMotivation: A Great Start to the Gleaners New Year


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A fantastic start to the new fiscal year. It featured volunteers’ time, donors’ treasures, and even some great talents. CHECK IT OUT…

Lots of great stuff for #IndyDoDay

So many groups came to spend time fighting hunger!

Some groups even brought their leaders, and we had fun putting them to work!

A great 2 days overall.

And we can’t forget about the food drive at Yolk downtown hosted by Kyle and Rachel from RadioNOW 100.9.

Or the MILK drive held at Kelsay Farms on Saturday

And here is a big shoutout to EVERYONE holding food drives… we could not impact the number of Hoosiers we do without each and every one of you.

Family finds security in School-Based Pantry


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by Willie Matis

One of the mothers of a school family came to me in tears.

Her husband had lost his job and has been unable to find work. She just took on a minimum wage job to help cover the bills, and she said that she has never asked for any assistance. She couldn’t think of anywhere else to turn.

I helped her with her request for uniforms, and then I asked if she was in need of food. At first she was reluctant, but I quickly explained that utilizing the pantry was like shopping. She agreed. After shopping, she again burst into tears, hugged me tight, and said what a blessing the food pantry items were to her family.

The School-Based Pantry Program has now extended into 50 locations in all 21 counties served by Gleaners. Staff and teachers at the schools share stories very similar to the one above quite often. One thing we notice is that teachers are able to connect more with families in need when they have the resources to provide food.

Thank you to all who have supported Gleaners. Because of you, our School-Based Pantry Program was able to expand, meaning many more students will be able to focus on their studies this school year rather than working to help their families.

#HungerAction Month comes to a close next Tuesday, September 30th; however, there are plenty of ways to stay involved.

1) Vote for Gleaners This will give Gleaners a chance at $60,000 to be put right back into your neighborhoods.

2) TRIPLE YOUR GIFT Your $1 will be matched with $2 from Bank of America. Triple your gift and triple your impact today.

Be the difference. Today.

Be the difference. Today.

Only Chips for Dinner


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by Willie Matis

We are in the last full week of #HungerAction Month. All of the going orange, all of the sharing of support, and all of the action… what is it for?

I had breakfast with a student yesterday morning who, unfortunately, is living in a motel with her mom. I could see that she was very, very hungry. When I asked her what she had for dinner the night before, her reply was, “Chips.” I was able to find her some additional breakfast food that day. She was eating so fast… it broke my heart.

I am eager to get BackSacks up and running again. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Gleaners, and all they do for our children.I wish all the staff and volunteers and donors could see how much the food means to the kids. It is a blessing to be able to be the one who distributes the BackSacks to the kids each Friday.

This story was submitted at the beginning of August by one of our BackSacks site coordinators. All of the going orange and hunger awareness is for the students like the one above. All of the sharing of support is so we can continue providing BackSacks to schools each Friday. All of the action is to make sure that our neighborhoods are stronger.

Thank you.

Thank you for your support during #HungerAction Month, but also, thanks to those who continue to provide support throughout the year. Hunger doesn’t know seasons, but the kids who receive BackSacks know someone cares.

2 More Ways to take #HungerAction before September’s end.

BoA-Give-A-Meal Fight-Hunger.-Spark-Change.

Hat tip to Connect2Help – Hunger is REAL


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by Willie Matis

Sitting down to write an intro to this great infographic from Connect2Help, I was thinking about what I could write. However, after re-reading the infographic, they give fantastic information about hunger in Indiana, stories they have heard, and concrete ways for you to help.

Any more writing would simply delay you in getting to the good stuff… Here you go!

Download the Connect2Help Food Report PDF here.


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