INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of WISH-TV employees celebrated their parent company’s 21st anniversary this week by volunteering at local organizations, including Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.
The effort to give back to the community is part of Founder’s Day of Caring, an annual event created by Nexstar Media Group. The telecommunications company, headquartered in Irving, Texas, was launched on June 17, 1996, as a standalone station in Pennsylvania.
Nexstar announced the inaugural Founder’s Day last year on its 20th anniversary, with the goal of generating 20,000 hours of community service. The company pledged to match each hour served with a corresponding dollar donation to beneficiary charities.
WISH-TV employees volunteered to inspect and sort donations, fill bags and backpacks for children, stack crates and organize thousands of pounds of supplies at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis.
Gleaners distributes food to more than 250 partner agencies in 21 central Indiana counties, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day cares and schools. They also provide services in the greater Indianapolis area including BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids, school-based pantries, C.A.R.E. mobile pantry and the Community Cupboard.
One team of WISH-TV volunteers managed to inspect and sort 13,435 pounds of food — enough to feed 11,196 people, according to the food bank — during a Friday morning shift.
“It’s a great thing to be doing today,” said Randy Ingram, WISH-TV vice president and general manager, as he sorted through boxes of donated snacks alongside station employees.
“We’re all sweating, but it’s for a great cause!” said sports reporter Meghan McKeown.
John Elliott, CEO of Gleaners Food Bank, thanked the station and company, estimating that three meals could be purchased with every dollar’s worth of volunteer time.
He urged community members to also join their fight against hunger.
“Anyone could one day find themselves in need,” said Elliott. “A family could be one crisis away from being in a food line. It could be [because of] a broken vehicle, a lost job [or] a mental or physical health challenge.”
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit organization. You can find more information about volunteering here.