On Tuesday, October 10th we kicked off the 7th annual Million Meal Marathon. From 9 am to 8 pm, we welcomed thousands of volunteers into Lucas Oil Stadium. When we say the Million Meal Marathon brings the community together, we mean it. Over the course of the day we saw local businesses big and small, Indianapolis Fire Department firefighters, Indianapolis Metro Police Department officers, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Colts players and cheerleaders, students, families, friends and neighbors all gather with one mission: feed hungry Hoosiers.
The Indianapolis Colts have been our community partner since the beginning of the Marathon, and several players were on hand to help.
“You see them on the field going at it really hard, but then you see them down here – hairnet, beard guards, pushing carts, lifting rice bags, packing – the same as you,” said Million Meal Movement Executive Director Shane Scarlett. “The barrier breaks down. We’re all equal. We’re all one. And we’re all for one main goal – to feed hungry Hoosiers here in Indiana.”
Because of the dedication and enthusiasm of Million Meal Marathon volunteers, we are able to feed thousands of hungry Hoosiers as well as help those in need in Puerto Rico. Our partners at Midwest Food Bank are distributing the meals to their network of food pantries throughout Indiana, as well as sending a portion to provide disaster relief to those affected by Hurricane Maria. These meals will benefit our food insecure neighbors, including the 1 in 5 Hoosier children who don’t know where their next meal will come from.
Due to the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Strada Education Network, we were able to engage over 900 students from 10 different schools in this incredible volunteer experience. We believe volunteering is critical to community development, so we make it a priority to educate youth about the importance of serving in their communities. We know they won’t soon forget the experience of serving side by side with Indianapolis Colts players.
Indianapolis Colts Safety (and Notre Dame alumni) Matthias Farley said it best: “You can really affect the entire community by just showing up and I think it’s important that we all do that.”
We are humbled and grateful for the continued support of the Million Meal Marathon every year. We’ve put almost 28 million meals on the tables of hungry families through Indiana food pantries over the years, and we couldn’t do it without our sponsors, M3 Crew and volunteers. We, along with the millions you have helped serve, thank you.