Lend a Hand, Buy a Foot to Build New Food Bank

In order to keep pace with the growing demand for food assistance, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank is planning to move to a larger facility this year. "Put simply, we need more space to distribute more food to more people," explains HHFB Executive Director Julio Alonso. The effort to build a larger food bank distribution center can use our help.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank has launched a "Lend a Hand, Buy a Foot" campaign to help secure a new space to get more food to more people. "This campaign is not just about a building, it's about people," says Alonso. "A larger distribution center is essential if we are to be able to carry out our mission of providing food to people in need."
After 25 years of service to the community, the need for HHFB and the more than 80 member agencies it serves is greater than ever. Consumer prices for food and energy jumped last year by the largest amount in 17 years, and economic forecasts for 2008-09 project that those prices will continue going up.
"The reality is that thousands of children, families, seniors, and hard-working people – living right here in south central Indiana – are hungry," says Jennie Rasmussen, resource development coordinator for HHFB. "Hoosier Hills Food Bank stands ready and committed to ensuring that everyone's basic right to eat is met."
"We want to take the hunger out of poverty," she adds.
Food banks are an indispensable component of a community's food system and social service safety net. In 2007, Hoosier Hills Food Bank distributed 2.3 million pounds of food to their member agency partners, a 25-year organizational record. HHFB is distributing 255% more food than in 1995, when they moved into their current 6,000 square foot facility.
"Our ability to meet the growing regional demand for emergency food assistance is limited by a lack of space at our current facility. In fact, there are times when we actually must refuse donated food due to our inability to store it," says Alonso. "We simply don't have the space to do more." 
With planned improvements, the new food bank will be just under 16,000 square feet, with an additional three-quarter acre lot for future expansion. The cost will be approximately $700,000. HHFB set a goal in May to raise $150,000 by mid-July, in order to have an affordable mortgage after closing costs and immediate site improvements.
"Tremendous support has come in since we've asked the community to lend a hand by buying a square foot, but we still have a ways to go and we'll have to continue to ask the community for help," Alonso explains.
If you would like to take part in this momentous step for Hoosier Hills Food Bank, showing support for the 25,000 people who use food bank resources each year, please consider making a contribution at Bloomingfoods during the months of July and August. 
We'll have "Lend a Hand, Buy a Foot" contribution forms at the registers, and hope to make the strong support of our shoppers and staff visible, by posting these forms on the walls of our stores. 
Please add your name and good energy to this very important effort! You may also make contributions at the HHFB website or send contributions to P.O. Box 697, Bloomington, IN 47402.