Salvation Army packing food boxes at Lucas Oil Stadium

INDIANAPOLIS — The Salvation Army, in collaboration with Midwest Food Bank, will pack an additional 5,000 boxes of food today at Lucas Oil Stadium to help Hoosier families in need.

The stadium, which is the home of the Indianapolis Colts, has been used as a food warehouse and food box packing center as part of the COVID-19 disaster response in Indiana. In April, 10,000 food boxes were packed at the stadium and distributed to food pantries across the state. With many communities seeing a rise in families seeking food assistance, The Salvation Army is using funds from a recent Lilly Endowment grant to purchase enough food to fill another 5,000 boxes.

Volunteers from Midwest Food Bank and The Salvation Army will work side-by-side with Lucas Oil Stadium staff and Indiana National Guard members to fill and prepare the boxes for distribution.

Two Men and Truck is distributing the boxes to food pantries on Wednesday. Offices from across Indiana have already used their fleet of moving trucks to distribute thousands of food boxes to communities spanning the entire state, including Fort Wayne, Columbus, New Albany, Terre Haute, Logansport, Warsaw, Nashville, Vincennes, New Castle, Huntington, Madison, Evansville, Marion, Greenwood, and Indianapolis.

This week, new shipments of food boxes are slated to revisit hard-hit communities like New Albany, Columbus, Evansville, Greenwood, and Fort Wayne. Several rural counties, including Miami County, Fayette County, and Clinton County, are also receiving food boxes to assist with local feeding programs.

The food boxes will be filled with shelf-stable items designed to help supplement the pantries of families who are struggling due to COVID-19 shut-downs. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) provided by FEMA will be added to these boxes for emergency provisions in the coming weeks.

As more businesses re-open, The Salvation Army will shift its focus from food to financial aid, officials said. Food pantries and feeding programs will continue to operate, just as they did before the COVID-19 crisis, but many households are facing a new crisis with unpaid bills threatening the loss of their homes.