Hoosier Hills Food Bank Book Fair Raises Funds for Community

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The Hoosier Hills Food Bank hosted a six-day book fair at the Monroe County Fairgrounds with funds donated to the food bank to benefit the community.

The book fair takes place in two buildings in the exhibition center, from October 14 to October 19. There are many items for sale such as books, movies, music and games, which are donated throughout the year.

The funds raised support the food bank’s anti-hunger efforts in six counties and through its partnerships, said Julio Alonso, executive director and CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The book fair was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

“We are happy to get it back,” Alonso said. “It’s been going very well so far. We have had a record number of participants every day we have been here, we hope to keep that pace. “

In 2020, the food bank saw an increase in the distribution of boxes of food, from around five million to seven million boxes, Alonso said. Throughout the pandemic, he said community support helped the food bank get by.

“During COVID, we saw a big wave of community support,” Alonso said. “It was great. That’s what got us through.”

Director of Volunteer Services Ryan Jochim said the food bank has an incredible volunteer base, made up of members of the Bloomington community, faculty and students from IU. The food bank was once a Red Cross event and these volunteers chose Hoosier Hills as the organization to host the event, he said.

The food bank is always on the lookout for new volunteers as it becomes difficult to manage things with only 12 or 13 staff at Hoosier Hills, Jochim said.

“Different things happen throughout the year, depending on the season, when we’re going to need people,” said Jochim.

Marjorie Hershey, professor emeritus of political science at IU and book fair volunteer, said she was grateful for the food bank and believed its mission was beneficial to community members, especially given recent issues with the food bank. income inequality in the United States.

“In recent years, we have seen a sharp increase in income inequality in the United States, including in this area,” Hershey said. “The food bank is just a wonderful way to help deal with this. It is a very simple process. People need food, they come to the food bank, they get food from people who can afford it. “

Hershey said she encourages people to visit the book fair and get involved with the food bank. It benefits all groups of people, from people who use the food bank to those who work there, she said.

“It’s a win-win,” Hershey said. “People get things very cheaply, the food bank gets food, food bank customers can help solve their problems accessing good food.


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