The signature event for an Indianapolis-based nonprofit is taking on a new approach this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Million Meal Movement typically holds its annual Million Meal Marathon as a one-day event at Lucas Oil Stadium with the goal of gathering more than 2,000 volunteers to pack one million meals to help Hoosiers dealing with food insecurity.
The pandemic has forced the nonprofit to change things up and this year’s event will take place over the course of a month, beginning on Monday.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Million Meal Movement co-founder Nancy Hintz says the pandemic has increased the need for food.
“Our food partners are seeing an unprecedented demand for food – 2-3 times that of what they typically see,” said Hintz. “And Feeding America is estimating that well over 17 million additional people will find themselves food insecure in the coming days. For every five people that would come to a food bank, two of those families are there for the very first time. So the need, unfortunately, is great.”
Hintz says the decision to stretch the Million Meal Marathon over the course of a month was made in order to keep people safe.
“We have 40 packaging events scheduled throughout the month, but they’re much smaller events and they’re at our location and we employ social distancing measures in order to keep everyone safe,” said Hintz. “We have schools, as well as companies, employees and families gather and still be able to package those one million meals.”
This year’s event will run from October 5 through November 7, with packing efforts taking place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The nonprofit says all meals packed will be distributed to food pantries throughout the state.
You can find more information on the event, including how to volunteer or sponsor, by clicking here.