NIPSCO partnered with Community Harvest Food Bank to make sure 905 families get holiday meals this year. Families with medical burdens and illness will receive vouchers for 50 pounds of food plus a turkey or ham at the Community Cupboard pantry. NIPSCO presented Community Harvest with a check for $20,000 during a news conference Monday, December 19 at the Fort Wayne food bank. In addition, 38 NIPSCO volunteers contributed time at the food bank on Saturday, December 17 to help distribute food to 350 families at Saturday Helping Hands and stock shelves in the Community Cupboard pantry.
“NIPSCO employees are passionate about eliminating hunger during the holidays and beyond,” said Dana Berkes, NIPSCO Public Affairs Manager. “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Community Harvest in an effort to help families have "Hope for the Holidays" through volunteering and this $20,000 donation to support families across northeast Indiana.”
“Thanks to NIPSCO’s generous donation, 905 families will receive a turkey or ham and 50 pounds of food this holiday season,” said Carmen Cumberland, Community Harvest Executive President. “Hunger champions, like NIPSCO, take away the burden for many who have to choose between paying medical bills and putting food on the table. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
In addition, various community agencies have partnered with Community Harvest to distribute the NIPSCO-sponsored holiday food vouchers to families in need. Several expressed their thanks and shared how it helps the families that they serve.
Liz Karst of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana shared how one family benefited from the holiday food vouchers. “’John’ and his wife have one young child with another baby on the way. However, their financial challenges threaten to overtake the joy of welcoming a new child to their young family. ‘John,’ who is in his 30s, is self-employed and unable to work because of his cancer diagnosis. He expects to lose his health insurance at the end of the year. His wife is off work awaiting the new baby, leaving the family with no income. Prior to his diagnosis, the couple was financially stable, but they are struggling to pay for basic needs in order to afford his cancer treatment. The food voucher from NIPSCO will not only allow the family to have a Christmas celebration, it will help sustain them until they are able to secure Social Security benefits.”
Other agencies expressed how helpful the vouchers are this time of year.
“We are so thankful,” said Beth Stevens of Pathfinders. “We have been doing this for about fifteen years and it really fills a gap because the holidays are stressful and so stretched for the families that we serve.”
“Catholic Charities helps people in the community by providing support to families in crisis. Food insecurity, especially during the holidays is a huge need,” said Jessica Hanna of Catholic Charities. “Community Harvest and NIPSCO Holiday vouchers allowed us to make sure families we serve had a Turkey dinner to brighten their holiday season. On behalf of those we serve at Catholic Charities – Thank You Community Harvest Food Bank and NIPSCO!!”
“On behalf of the League for the Blind & Disabled, we appreciate the wonderful Christmas food donations from Community Harvest Food Bank and NIPSCO, which will be distributed to the consumers we serve with severe disabilities,” said David A. Nelson, CRC, President/CEO, The League. “Community Harvest and NIPSCO have always been community advocates for people with disabilities and those who need a hand up. Thank you for your generosity!”
“Several families are benefiting from these vouchers, who normally would not be able to provide meals for their families,” said Captain Dennis Marak of the Salvation Army of Huntington. “With these vouchers, the Salvation Army is able to provide for those who cannot. We are very appreciative of these gifts.”
“I have seen countless times the relief the holiday food vouchers bring during a stressful time of the year,” said Bethany Knight of Parkview Home Health and Hospice. “The holiday food vouchers provide comfort in times of distress, encouragement for the days to come, and hope in humanity. On behalf of Parkview and our patients we truly thank you for the generosity.”