INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana are teaming up to drive awareness for Gleaners’ vital mission to end hunger in Central Indiana, especially its No One Runs On Empty awareness campaign.
Gleaners becomes an Official Charitable Partner of IMS through the new partnership, announced Sept. 29 at IMS during Race Week for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR and the Indianapolis 8 Hour races Oct. 1-4 at the Racing Capital of the World.
“IMS always has looked beyond its gates to help the Central Indiana community, so this partnership with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is an ideal extension of that mission,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Gleaners tirelessly works to provide meals for hungry Hoosiers, a need that has become even more acute during these challenging times. We’re honored to help, and we encourage all race fans to donate to Gleaners as often as possible.”
A variety of promotional assets at IMS and around Central Indiana will be used to encourage fans to regularly donate to Gleaners. The No One Runs On Empty awareness campaign, launched in early July, highlights advocacy and volunteerism, and encourages financial support for Gleaners’ hunger relief programs.
An estimated 1.5 to 2 million Hoosiers face food insecurity, a number that has climbed significantly from 1 million prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The need in Marion County increased dramatically more than in the other 20 Indiana counties served by Gleaners, but all counties have seen increased need.
The No One Runs On Empty awareness initiative is made possible through the generosity of the Anthem Foundation. Anthem issued a $1 million challenge to encourage community giving. Gleaners is approximately halfway to that goal and hopes to meet the challenge by the end of this year.
IMS also will host two community food distribution events with Gleaners later this year as part of the partnership.
“For the past seven months, Gleaners has been in the midst of an extraordinary effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joseph Slater, chief operations and financial officer of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. “Since March, we’ve been distributing approximately 1.5 million meals each week. Some distributions, such as the Mega Fresh Mobile hosted by IMS last Memorial Day, have served nearly 5,000 families in one day.
“The connection between food insecurity and a host of other issues Including health, unemployment and education, has never been more clear. As we’ve navigated the pandemic and our response to it, a number of organizations have stepped forward to join us in our campaign to make sure that No One Runs On Empty: the Anthem Foundation, Bank of America, Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport. Today, we’re thrilled to add the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to that list of champions, joining us in the fight against hunger. The theme of the Harvest GP fits perfectly with our strategic goal to provide the highest level of nutrition possible to those we serve. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
This partnership is a continuation of Gleaners’ No One Runs On Empty initiative. Racing was the launching platform for the program that focuses on education, advocacy, volunteerism and giving. NTT INDYCAR SERIES sophomore sensation Colton Herta drove the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana for Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport in the GMR Grand Prix in July and the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in August at IMS.
Fans are encouraged to promote Gleaners’ mission by posting to social media with the hashtags #NoOneRunsOnEmpty and #Donate88.
Gleaners was founded in 1980 and is a respected leader within Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network. Since that time, Gleaners has distributed more than half a billion pounds of food and critical grocery products through more than 585 hunger relief agencies, schools and community partners serving hungry Hoosiers.
In addition to food distribution to agencies, Gleaners serves the most vulnerable populations, seniors and children, through specialty programs such as School-Based Pantries, Mobile Pantries, Summer Meals for Kids and Senior Hunger Initiative programs. Fresh Connect Central began as an initiative focused on the distribution of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables in 2017 and has grown to include meat and dairy. Gleaners also serves as the reclamation site for Kroger Central Division, and a FEMA disaster relief staging site.
Charity Navigator has recognized Gleaners as a 4-Star organization, the highest rating for charity demonstrating fiscal management and accountability. In addition, Gleaners is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau and has earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. To learn more, visit www.gleaners.org.
Gleaners also is on social media at www.facebook.com/GleanersFoodBankofIndiana and on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at @GleanersFBIndy.