GREENFIELD — The recently-formed Elanco Foundation on Monday announced it has pledged more than $700,000 to help fight food insecurity challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Funds will support organizations and food banks in communities across Elanco Animal Health's footprint, including Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, the European Food Banks Federation, and food banks in Greenfield, Winslow, Maine, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Clinton, Ind. and the Kansas City area.
"In this time of uncertainty, the health and well-being of our employees, customers, animals and the communities where we operate are our top priority," Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and CEO, said in a statement. "Such an unprecedented time underscores the critical importance of a safe, affordable food supply, particularly meat, milk and eggs. And the needs are growing. There is no better time than during an urgent philanthropic need to launch our newly created Elanco Foundation to deliver on our promise of health by increasing access to healthy animal protein for all people. We challenge everyone to help us 'fill the banks.'"
In Indiana, where Elanco's global headquarters are located, the company is leading a coalition to raise $1.6 million to feed families with children in the Indianapolis Public School system for the next eight weeks. Eight in 10 IPS kids struggle with food insecurity. Through the efforts of Gleaners Food Bank, buses are delivering emergency food foxes to a variety of IPS locations. The funds from Elanco Foundation will meet food needs for about 2,500 IPS families over the next eight weeks.
"In recent weeks, Gleaners has been asked to step up and serve. Thanks for the generosity of organizations like the Elanco Foiundation, we have been able to do so," John Elliott, president and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, said. "We've more than doubled distribution at our onsite pantry. We're adding mobile pantries in a variety of communities in our service area, and partnering with IPS to ensure that families who need help, receive it. We're grateful to Elanco for leading this corporate challenge to ensure that no one —and particularly no child — is left hungry due to this pandemic."