Thanks to the community’s generosity, PackaPalooza: The Great American Food Drive raised 9,143 pounds of food, the equivalent of 7,619 meals, the value of which is almost $16,000. During the month of July, Lake Area United Way launched PackaPalooza: The Great American Food Drive in partnership with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana, and Northwest Indiana Community Action to encourage donations of high protein, shelf-stable food items.
“We are all extremely grateful to the community for stepping up and supporting local pantries through this food drive. We also want to thank Strack & Van Til for all their work in putting together the donation bags and promoting the drive to their customers. The food drive would not have been a success without the amazing partnership with Strack & Van Til,” said Lake Area United Way President & CEO Lisa Daugherty.
Now PackaPalooza will enter its second phase with PackaPalooza Cares. PackaPalooza Cares will run from September 1st through October 16th and asks volunteers to create care kits for local seniors experiencing social isolation due to COVID-19. Volunteers are asked to create handmade cards or letters of encouragement to the seniors, purchase the following items, pack them in a large Ziplock bag with the card, and drop the kits off at either the Lake Area United Way, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, or Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana. The kits will be delivered by Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana to the participants in their senior feeding programs around Halloween in a reverse Trick or Treat.
The items to be included in the kits are: handwritten encouragement note/card, sticky note pads, puzzle/activity books, serving sized snacks, fruit cups, Kleenex, Chap Stick, pad of paper or journal, hair comb or brush, and travel size lotion. The completed kits should be dropped off at Lake Area United Way, 221 W. Ridge Rd. Griffith, IN 46319, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana, 8446 Virginia St, Merrillville, IN 46410, or the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, 6490 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410. Bins will be set up in the entryways of the three buildings where you can drop off your kits.
The goal of PackaPalooza Cares is to create and distribute 2,500 kits to seniors in Lake County.