Food bank plans to open new facility

2012-06-06T22:00:00Z 2012-06-07T16:52:04Z Food bank plans to open new facilityBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana will need an enhanced facility as it adds to the 40 million pounds of food it already has distributed during the past 30 years to region families in need.

Angie Williams, the food bank's executive director, announced Wednesday the organization hopes to have a new building open within the next two years.

Moments later, confetti and cheers filled County Line Orchard as the food bank celebrated its 30 years of service in Northwest Indiana.

The organization's facility on 35th Avenue in Gary originally was a barn, and it isn't sufficient to meet the need in the area.

Gary and Merrillville are possible locations for the new facility, which would feature a nutrition center in addition to serving as the food bank's distribution facility, Williams said.

The food bank continues to develop plans for the new building.

Continued financial support from food bank donors is needed for the facility, and the organization plans to host fundraisers for the structure, Williams said.

While Williams gave a glimpse of the future of the food bank, she also reflected on the organization's accomplishments.

"Forty million pounds of food is just amazing," Williams said of the amount of food distributed by the food bank since it opened 30 years ago.

Hundreds gathered for the celebration, which also served as a fundraiser.

Megan Sikes, the food bank's communication and advocacy manager, said free admission was given to families that participate in the organization's backpack program, which provides food to children at times when resources might not be available to them.

The event had a carnival atmosphere with games, a photo booth, caricature drawings and other attractions.

Visit www.foodbanknwi.org for information about the food bank and ways to help the organization.

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