Volunteer Appreciation Month Begins Tomorrow


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by Harvey Bananas

Be ready!

Be aware!


Volunteer Appreciation Month kicks off tomorrow, and we are super excited about it. We are so bummed that it is limited to 30 days, but other things have to have their time in the national spotlight, too. It wouldn’t be like volunteers to soak up all of the recognition anyways, you guys are the ones who like to give time because it is the right thing to do.

Thank you all so much.

Did I mention that we love our volunteers?


This is the best way for me to express my gratitude right now. It doesn’t help that my lips are literally sewn shut.

But, I wanted to be sure you knew how much you mean to us. If you are coming in to volunteer this month, be ready to be loved. Also, be ready to take a #helpie! Show all of your friends how much volunteers are appreciated.

Be sure to follow @GleanersFBIndy on Instagram and Twitter. We will be using the #VolunteerMonth hashtag all through April along with #TeamFightHunger – the team that YOU are a vital member of.

Have a great April!

Introducing… Afterschool Meals


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by Hope Pascoe

Gleaners recently launched our NEW Afterschool Meals Program.  Through a partnership with Second Helpings, the program provides students and their families dinner in a safe, familiar environment.  Each site operates in conjunction with an already existing afterschool program that offers both enrichment and educational activities.  Not only does the program deliver resources for youth, but it allows parents the opportunity to sit down and have a meal with their children without having to worry about what they will prepare or where they will get the resources needed to make it.

Our first site partnership has been with Holy Cross Central, a school where almost 95% of their students receive free and reduced lunches.  Youth and volunteers alike were giddy as the first meals started to hit the plates. 

“This is the best day ever!”


“I get to eat the whole pork chop?  I always have to share it.”

These are just some of the comments I caught amongst the chatter as families began to enjoy the start of nutritious, hot meals 5 nights a week.

The program also provides families with increased access to fresh products as Second Helpings is able to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables.  The salads are instantly gobbled up which seems fitting during National Nutrition Month.  Program sites also complete a nutrition education lesson with those who attend each month.

The Afterschool Meals Program provides new opportunities for kids to just be kids without the worry or burden of hunger.

PS: That boy who got to eat the whole pork chop… … …

he ended up eating 3!

How to celebrate National Nutrition Month


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by Rachel Conn

National Nutrition Month is celebrated in a variety of ways at Gleaners. We really enjoy sharing nutrition education ideas and information through our on-site food pantry, like:

  • Multiple options for produce: apples, onions and potatoes
  • Recipe cards! Helping everyone enjoy a new meal at home.
  • Brand new Nutrition Education board reminding all how important healthy choices are.

Even Harvey gets in on this action.

Harvey Taste Tester

Harvey blindfolded and nose pinched for a taste testing!


My husband and I are taking a challenge during National Nutrition Month ourselves. We challenged each other to try something BRAND NEW for dinner each week. So far, we’ve branched out to try mushroom quinoa bake, cauliflower mashed potatoes, golden curry and chicken, and more.


We want to know. Leave them in the comments section along with your Twitter handle, and we will give you a shoutout from @GleanersFBIndy!

Happy National Nutrition Month!

How does a Buzzer Beater help provide food for children?


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by Harvey Bananas

Happy Brackets For Good time, #TeamFightHunger! I don’t know if you’ve notice, but we have been having fun with the trash talk between our first round foes… the evil Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (they’re only evil because we are facing off).

And luckily, I was able to bring in the heavy backup (no pun intended, Big Joe).

But we still need your help.. TCM has taken a late lead, but let me explain a little trick called the “Buzzer Beater.”

My idol growing up was obviously Reggie Miller. I mean, take a look at this jump shot that I have. 

Anyways, we need you to help score points at the very end of the round so that The Children’s Museum doesn’t even see it coming! Here’s how you do it.

Step 1. Click to zoom in on the First Person Bracket (Lower Left)


Step 2. Check the box next to the Gleaners Bowl


Step 3. Scroll down and enter your donation amount

This is key… whatever you want to donate TOTAL, divide that in half. Or if you are feeling like Michael Jordan, DOUBLE the amount that you want to give to help children in need!


Step 4. Check the Buzzer Beater Box!


Notice it doubles the amount you put in the donation box. You pay the total, but those buzzer beater points won’t be released until needed for us to take the win and storm the court!

What do you say? Will you help launch Gleaners toward a $10,000 grand prize that could help fill 2,000 BackSacks for kids in need?

Ray’Sean would forever thank you for it.

National Nutrition Month calls for a MyPlate Revisit


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Gleaners has a great partnership with the Dietetic Internship Program at IUPUI. The following blog was written by one of the many fantastic interns that work to make sure Gleaners always keeps nutrition at the forefront of its services.

Blog written by Sarah Gafter

The New Food Guide: MyPlate

MyPlate replaced the food Pyramid in 2011, and includes portions from each food group to have at each meal. This is different from the pyramid because it shows how much to eat at each meal, instead of over each day.

The MyPlate can be visualized over any regular plate to help anyone eat a balanced meal.

The MyPlate can be visualized over any regular plate to help anyone eat a balanced meal.

Key messages include the following:

  • Make at least half your grains – whole grains
  • Vary your vegetable choices.
  • Three dairy servings per day to provide all age groups with mineral calcium, which helps growing children form strong bones. Adults also need calcium to maintain their bone health and help ward off osteoporosis. Switching to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk will provide the same amount of calcium as whole milk, but have fewer calories and less saturated fat. Don’t drink milk? Try vitamin and mineral fortified soy milk or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in meals and snacks.

While fresh fruits and vegetables are preferred for MyPlate, canned goods are just as nutritious as freshly cooked. Look for labels saying “low-sodium,” vegetables or “unsweetened” fruit. Choose a variety of colors when making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Try to make a rainbow on your plate by picking red, orange, and dark-green vegetables. Serving a fresh fruit cocktail, fruit and yogurt parfait, or baked apples for dessert can help cut back on added sugars while still satisfying your sweet tooth.

Plan out your day!

Plan out your day!

Eating at home allows you to control how much salt, sugar, and fat goes into your food. Serve yourself on a smaller plate for portion control; eat slowly and mindfully so you can pay attention to how full you are.

FUN FACTS: MyPlate is based on a 9” plate, whereas restaurant plates are generally 13” or larger.  Think about how much more food you’re likely to eat when you’re served on a larger plate! Preparing your own foods also allows you to experiment with new recipes and foods, and save money.


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