With demand for food assistance never greater than during this COVID-19 pandemic and many people losing their jobs, on Friday, April 10, Nexstar stations WTTV-TV (CBS) and WXIN-TV (Fox) teamed up with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Midwest Food Bank Indiana Division for a Pack the Pantries Virtual Food Drive and raised $219,394.00.
Beginning Friday at 4 a.m., with the help of partners from iHeartRadio and Cumulus Media, both stations encouraged viewers to “Do Good on Good Friday” by giving financially to these two Central Indiana food banks, the stations said. People gave donations online and through a “text to donate” option. One viewer alone donated $5,000. "Just $5 can feed a family of four for a day. That’s 43,878 families who won’t go hungry today thanks to the generosity of viewers," the stations said in a release.
Dominic Mancuso, VP and general manager of WTTV CBS4 and WXIN FOX59 said: “What started out as an idea at a management meeting on Tuesday became reality in three short days. At a time when the need is greater than ever, the charity and compassion of our viewers for their fellow Hoosiers is a truly amazing and wonderful thing.”
“Many thanks to everyone at Fox59 and CBS4 and all who gave so generously and helped to make the Pack the Pantries Virtual food drive a huge success,” John Whitaker, executive director of Midwest Food Bank Indiana, said in the release. “Hope is found through faith and faith is found where there is hope. Midwest Food Bank is so grateful to be a part of a community that acts by faith and lives it out by showing unconditional love for those who have been greatly impacted by this pandemic. I know God must have had goosebumps as He witnessed so many sacrificially giving to help feed and care for their neighbors who are in great need. Truly we are a blessed city and we will persevere no matter what comes our way because Hoosiers Give Hope! Together we will continue make a difference in the lives of others one meal at a time. God bless you all for your faithfulness and continued support.”
CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana John Elliott said: "Relationships are deeply tested in times of crisis and we see the true nature of people and organizations. Once again, the team at FOX59 and CBS4 have demonstrated a deep, sincere commitment to caring for their hungry neighbors in need and for the mission of Gleaners Food Bank. It is a privilege to collaborate with MidwestFood Bank and many other partners to serve a daunting number of neighbors, but we could not do so without the astounding generosity of so many individuals here in central Indiana. On behalf of those families in need who often don't have a voice, thank you."
“The response from our viewers exceeded even my wildest expectations,” CJ Hoyt, news director for WTTV CBS4 and WXIN FOX59, said. “I am floored by the power of the Hoosier spirit and exceptionally grateful. Thousands of families will have food on their table over the next few months thanks to this amazing generosity.”
People can still give by texting @MFBINDY to 52014 to donate to Midwest Food Bank Indiana Division or by texting GIVE to 317-593-2400 to donate to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana or by going to websites fox59.com/PackthePantries and cbs4indy.com/PackthePantries.
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