A frigid Central Indiana afternoon weeks ahead of the official commencement of winter provided the perfect backdrop to Andretti Autosport partnering with Butterball to donate 500 turkeys to Midwest Food Bank.
There wasn’t the possibility of the frozen whole birds thawing as team owner Michael Andretti joined Butterball CEO and president Kerry Doughty, 2014 Indy Lights driver Zach Veach and crew members of the Indianapolis 500-winning No. 28 car loaded cases for distribution. Conditions also underscored the needs of food, clothing, shelter and utilities as winter encroaches.
The Butterball whole turkeys were distributed to Wheeler Mission, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and food pantries across Indianapolis. Midwest Food Bank, with the assistance of volunteers and donors, gathers and distributes food items to more than 700 organizations – representing more than 500,000 individuals a month -- in addition to providing response to national disaster sites.
“Thanksgiving is a special holiday associated with turkey and with Butterball. We like to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, and the distribution of these turkeys will make the holiday brighter for families. The needs are great everywhere,” said Doughty, an Indianapolis native. “Michael brought this idea up and we’re happy to participate. The real workers are the people at Midwest Food Bank, who pull all this food together and distribute it.
“With a $500,000 budget, they distribute $25 million worth of food to families.”
Butterball, which accounts for 20 percent of the nation’s turkey production, is an associate sponsor of Andretti Autosport’s Verizon IndyCar Series entries.
“It’s cool to have a sponsor like Butterball that wants to give back and it’s great to be a part of us giving back to Indianapolis, which is our home,” Andretti said. “It’s a little thing that we’re doing and hopefully we can help out in other ways.”
Milestone meal to be served
On Nov. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Verizon IndyCar Series team owner/driver Ed Carpenter will join 200 senior citizens in helping CICOA celebrate serving its 18 millionth meal.
Six percent of Indiana seniors are at risk for hunger and Indiana ranks 12th in the nation in senior food insecurity. CICOA's Meals & More program serves a half-million meals annually to seniors and to those living with disabilities.