Evansville-based Tri-State Food Bank says it will be able to significantly increase its mobile food distribution program in Indiana and Kentucky over the next three years.
The food bank says Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has agreed to sponsor the program.
Terms of the donation were not disclosed, but the food bank did say Anthem’s gift will help 15,000 households by providing approximately 500,000 meals.
“The war against hunger must be fought on several fronts, not only through brick & mortar pantries and soup kitchens but also by mobile food distributions to reach those people who have little or no access to traditional food outlets,” said Tri-State Food Bank Executive Director Glenn Roberts.
Roberts says prior to the pandemic, the organization was helping about 115,000 people through a number of food pantries in southern Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. But now, it’s estimated the number will rise to nearly 160,000 people this year.
The mobile food distribution program targets communities with low access to food and aims to help vulnerable populations, such as children, senior citizens, and those living in isolated, rural communities.
Tri-State says the donation will help it update a food distribution truck, which will be used to transport and give out fresh produce at the mobile food distributions.
A mobile food distribution will typically provide a household with a box of dry products such as canned vegetables and fruit, pasta, rice, cereal, peanut butter, pasta sauce, beans, canned meat, and soup.