In May 1993, United Religious Community of St. Joseph County’s Hunger Education Task Force accepted the challenge of reestablishing food banking services in north central Indiana. That July, an organizing committee brought together the first board of directors that agreed that the North Central Indiana Food Bank would be the organization of record created to address local problems of hunger and malnutrition by providing quality food to participating social service agencies.
The North Central Indiana Food Bank began operations as a SDO (Subsidiary Distribution Organization) of Gleaners Food Bank of Indianapolis. Our first distribution of 6,800 pounds was made in December 1993 to 29 agencies.
As our member agencies and donor base grew, we became self-sufficient and large enough to be considered for national certification. In February 1996, we became a certified food bank of the America’s Second Harvest National Food Bank network. As a member of America’s Second Harvest, we received offerings of donated product, with allotments based on the poverty population within our service area.
In July 2000, we purchased our location on Chapin Street in downtown South Bend, an 82,000-square-foot facility, to ensure adequate storage to meet the rising demand for food in northern Indiana.
In 2006, our organization’s name was changed to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana serving Elkhart, LaPorte, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke and St. Joseph Counties. In 2008, America’s Second Harvest changed its name to Feeding America, representing what their member food banks do each day.
In addition, businesses, organizations and individuals conduct food and funds drives. We are extremely grateful for the financial support we receive from corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals like you.
In 2014, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana distributed 7.1 million pounds of food to its network of 165 member agencies in its six-county service area.
Today, the rate of hunger insecurity in northern Indiana is 17%. This epidemic is silent. When all of our residents have food security and access to nutritious foods, we will be even better physically and mentally prepared to take on life’s challenges.