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Senior food pantry helps 140 families

The Gleaners Mobile Senior Food Pantry visits Connersville monthly and is scheduled to be here today. The Mobile Pantry has received a $200,000 donation from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Some of the company’s employees are pictured with a replica check in front of the truck.

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

When the Senior Mobile Pantry rolls into Crosspointe Biker Church this afternoon, about 140 families will be directly affected.

The Senior Mobile Pantry visits Crosspointe Church, 1130 E. Baseline Road, from 3-5 p.m. on the first Wednesday each month. It’s a semi-truck loaded with food from Gleaners Food Bank.

The Gleaners’ Senior Hunger Initiative and Senior Mobile Pantries has received a $200,000 sponsorship donation from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In 2018, Gleaners served more than 35,000 senior citizens through these programs in 21 counties.

Senior Mobile Pantries carry an average of 7,500 pounds of food, including pantry staples, fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen meats.

On its visits to Crosspointe, about 140 families receive food every month, according to Chris Lovett, pastor. About 40 volunteers from the church help distribute the food.

“They are thankful for the food,” Lovett said, adding that the church also operates its own small food pantry on an as-needed basis.

An estimated 4.7 percent of Hoosier senior citizens are at high risk for very low food security, according to Gleaners.

The Gleaners’ Senior Hunger Initiative program is designed to provide clients with choice, along with a variety of nutritious foods that meet their dietary and personal needs. These programs also work to fulfill the needs of seniors that fall outside the reach of other agencies. 

Anthem’s $200,000 gift will make it possible for the food bank to host 120 Senior Mobile Pantries this year. 

“We’re thrilled to receive this support from Anthem as we work to serve the growing senior population in our service area,” said John Elliott, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana president and CEO.

Anthem’s Indianapolis-based employees have consistently volunteered at Gleaners.