Jane Avery, executive director of the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, 999 E Tillman Road, cuts a 30th anniversary celebration cake Monday morning during a small gathering of politicians, local, state and national, as well as employees and board members.
To lead off the agency's 30th year employees served cake and gave tours of the facility for most of the day. A representative from Kroger presented them with a $25,000 check, the final half of the $50,000 Kroger had pledged at the beginning of Community Harvest's capital improvement campaign three years ago. The money has gone toward refurbishing their East Tillman Road location as well as renovating a building on Coliseum Boulevard, which will have a blanch and freeze operation and extra warehouse storage facilities.
The food bank started 30 years ago when International Harvester folded in Fort Wayne. Avery said they had thought it would only be around for a year or so to fill that need, but it has continued to grow over the years as the community has learned hunger is still very present in Allen country and the nine other counties it serves in northeast Indiana. Annually they distribute nearly 11 million pounds of food in its service area in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties.