Following months of research, planning and community input, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has unveiled its strategic plan, which includes aggressively increasing the amount of food it distributes.

“Food Bank of the Future,” was unveiled at Gleaners' Hunger Action ceremony at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The plan is based on five key pillars, but it all begins with transformational change, according to Gleaners’ president and chief executive officer John Elliott.

“Our ultimate goal is to reduce the meal gap – currently 53 million meals are missed by Hoosiers in our 21-county service area,” Elliott said. “We need to do work internally, focusing on people, process, technology, and efficiency to deliver on the strategies to which we have committed.”

Elliott acknowledged change won’t happen overnight. The food bank set a goal of 2023 to achieve their changes, which include:

  • Distribute more than 100 million pounds of food annually – nearly 2.5 times the current level; 40% via the produce co-op.
  • Distribute a variety of healthy, nutritious foods, with a goal of 80% being Foods to Encourage: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and meal-making items for families.
  • Focus on collaboration and co-locating services with partners to meet a variety of client needs.
  • Steward funds and reduce the cost per meal from 24¢ to 13¢.
  • Build local strategies by county, becoming a trusted and caring poverty-relief partner.
  • Assist those who are ready to move to a place of food security for themselves and their families

Indianapolis-based Corteva Agriscience is setting the pace by making a lead challenge grant of $90,000 to support expansion of the Indiana Produce Co-op. The co-op helps to purchase and distribute fresh produce to the 21 counties in Gleaners’ service area.

“Making the world a better place begins with making our communities better, and we’re committed to help address the vital need for fresh produce with this lead challenge gift to Gleaners,” said Susan Lewis, senior vice president, Enterprise Operations, Corteva Agriscience.