Many families are still struggling due to the COVID-19 shut down, with food assistance continually being one of the most requested needs. For the past seven years Lake Area United Way has held PackaPalooza, a volunteer project to pack thousands of nutritious meals for families in need, but due to the current pandemic the event had to be reconfigured in order to meet social distancing guidelines. This year the event will take place in the form of a community wide food drive to raise high-protein, shelf stable food.
“With food prices rising, it’s harder for pantries to stay stocked. This food drive will help the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana stock up on high protein staples so they can use their funds to purchase other much needed items that have recently increased in price. Lake Area United Way is committed to working with the nonprofit community to help families make it through these unprecedented times,” said Lake Area United Way President & CEO Lisa Daugherty.
From June 29th-July 31st you can donate shelf-stable, high-protein foods like peanut butter, other nut/seed butters, beans, canned meats like tuna and chicken, rice, and pasta. You can purchase and donate premade bags with these items for $5, $10, or $20 at your neighborhood Strack & Van Til grocery store. Individual items can also be dropped off at any Crossroads YMCA location, and the East Chicago, Cedar Lake, and Gary Boys & Girls Clubs. Donations to the Boys & Girls Club locations can be made between 7am-6pm, but you must call in advance of dropping off food. The Cedar Lake club number is 219-374-5306, the East Chicago club is 219-398-1344, and the Gary club’s number is 219-885-5501.
“The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is proud to work alongside our sister non-profit organizations in Northwest Indiana as we continue to innovate in new ways to support region residents with programs and services aimed at making meaningful change in their lives,” says Food Bank of Northwest Indiana Executive Director Victor Garcia. “We are thankful for the leadership Lake Area United Way has provided in bringing multiple organizations together in an effort to impact food insecurity. Our community has, and will, continue to respond to the increased need for supports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are excited to participate in the Great American Food Drive and Packapalooza!”
PackaPalooza: The Great American Food Drive is brought to you by Lake Area United Way, The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana, and Northwest Indiana Community Action. All protein donations will be directed to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for distribution to local food pantries.