FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Fort Wayne food pantries have seen an increase in the need for food, while there has been a decrease in available staff.
“We have lost half of our employees that are homebound right now, so we need people to help us,” said Carmen Cumberland, Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana Executive President. “We are packing for next week roughly 2,300 hundred boxes, but that's going to change. The need is increasing.”
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Cumberland said what food pantries need most now is monetary donations so they can continue to buy enough food with the growing number of people who need it.
“The biggest thing is we are purchasing right now where we usually rely on donated food,” Cumberland said. “Because of the needs at the store and everybody for no better word hoarding product, we aren't getting the donations like we normally would.”
Cumberland said Community Harvest has been able to keep up with the increased demand by relying on their partners.
Beginning March 27, the Indiana National Guard is serving 72 hours at Community Harvest distributing meals to the Fort Wayne community.
“Pack food, pack boxes and help distribute it to the Northeast Indiana community that has helped us when we have been in need and helped our families when we have been gone,” said Capt. Eric Bolin, Indiana National Guard Battalion Training Officer. “We just want to be able to give back.”
Community Harvest received additional support from Kelly Box & Packaging Corporation who donated a truckload of boxes to help with the distribution of food from the food bank.
“During a time of crisis, we want to do everything we can to give back to that community that we have been in for so long,” said Joe Collie, Kelly Box & Packaging employee. “It's the best way we know how to help right now.”
To learn how you can contribute to Community Harvest Food Bank click here.