Younger volunteers needed to keep Indiana food pantries open

Food at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis (WTHR/File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is calling on Hoosiers to help keep the state’s food pantries open.

Many food pantries are supported by a volunteer workforce, with many of those volunteers over the age of 60. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many of those older Hoosiers and others with health challenges are choosing to stay home to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19.

“Now is the time for us as Hoosiers to double down on our best quality -- serving each other,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA Secretary in a statement calling for younger volunteers Monday. “Food pantries are critical harbors of hope in many local communities, and with them facing difficulties operating and possibly reducing the food supply to our neighbors in need, it’s time to sound a loud call for help across the state.”

Sullivan urged anyone who is not in a vulnerable population or demographic to answer the call to help at a local food pantry.

Hoosiers can call 211 and ask for a list of nearby food pantries.

Anyone having troubling obtaining enough food for themselves or their families should also call 211 for help.

Those in Marion County can also use the Community Compass app on a smart phone.