Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana says it is relaunching its drive-thru distributions at its on-site Community Cupboard in Indianapolis because of increasing need. The organization says the number of clients being served is up 50% from the start of the year, and at 85% of the levels served at the height of the pandemic.
Gleaners says prior to the pandemic, it would distribute to a maximum of 400 households with in-person shopping at the food pantry. In recent weeks, the number has topped 700, which created long wait times.
“We don’t make this decision lightly,” said Fred Glass, Gleaners president and chief executive officer. “With winter approaching and wait times for our shoppers due to increased demand exceeding 2.5 hours, this was the right decision to best support the growing number of our neighbors in need.”
Glass says the drive-thru system is a more efficient way to provide food staples to a larger number of people.
“Our goal at all times is to offer a safe, respectful, and dignified experience for those we serve. The long wait and sometimes chaotic parking situation did not offer that experience,” said Glass.
Gleaner Community Cupboard is located at the Gleaners warehouse at 3737 Waldemere Avenue in Indianapolis and operates food distribution services four days a week.