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Celebrating Anti-Hunger All Stars

December 6, 2023

September is Hunger Action Month and we’re celebrating our YMCA Anti-Hunger All Stars! We’re grateful for those who work to ensure all children in our community have access to healthy meals and snacks, helping them reach their full potential.

LaShanda Lang is a seasoned YMCA professional with over 27 years of experience in program development, fundraising, board and community development. LaShanda and her team at the Avondale Meadows YMCA partnered with Gleaners Food Bank for the past three years to provide a Community Action Relief Effort (CARE) mobile food pantry at the Avondale Meadows YMCA. The CARE mobile pantry was developed to address the issue of hunger I key “intersections” in Indianapolis where there are food deserts, higher crime, educational challenges, high unemployment and isolation concerns. LaShanda and her team work together to help change the lives of those they encounter.

The mobile pantry started at the Avondale Meadows YMCA in 2021 and runs from June to August every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. Over 15,000 households have been served over the past three years. LaShanda and her team recruit volunteers, set up the drive-through distribution and provide reports to Gleaners each week. This program is a huge undertaking for this small, but mighty team. So, LaShanda engages with the community members, board members and staff to ensure enough manpower is available for all 13 weeks. Each week, over 500 households pick up nutritious food items for families during the two-hour distribution. That’s why the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis is working to ensure our children have access to healthy meals and snacks through CARE.

“I can’t think of a more deserving person to be named a YMCA Anti-Hunger All-Star.” Jenny Sera, East District VP

Although LaShanda is the team leader, she sends a “huge shout” to her team, Trish Officer, Joe Rice, and Jami Weirich for their leadership in managing the logistics and volunteers over the last three years. She adds, “As Trish often says, ‘many hands make light work!’ Our team repeats this often while serving in various community projects. The Avondale Meadows YMCA is so thankful for the community and the many volunteers who support this great work. We simply cannot continue this work without your help!”

Visit gleaners.org to learn more about Gleaners or email Trish Officer at pofficer@indymca.org to get involved!

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