HATCH egg program no ‘short term fix’ for hungry Hoosiers

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From left: John Whitaker, Midwest Food Bank, Becky Fouard (Elanco Animal Health), Mollie Mattocks (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township), Cindy Hubert (Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana), Russell Brown (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township), Darrell Largen (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township). After providing 100,039 eggs to more than 8,000 families in Indiana during a 10-week pilot program, HATCHTM announced it will extend its program with The Kroger Co. and Rose Acre Farms through 2015. This announcement was made during a special event at Gleaners Food Bank, one of two food banks distributing HATCH eggs to food pantries throughout Central Indiana. (Submitted photo)

From left: John Whitaker, Midwest Food Bank, Becky Fouard (Elanco Animal Health), Mollie Mattocks (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township), Cindy Hubert (Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana), Russell Brown (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township), Darrell Largen (The Cupboard of Lawrence Township). After providing 100,039 eggs to more than 8,000 families in Indiana during a 10-week pilot program, HATCHTM announced it will extend its program with The Kroger Co. and Rose Acre Farms through 2015. This announcement was made during a special event at Gleaners Food Bank, one of two food banks distributing HATCH eggs to food pantries throughout Central Indiana. (Submitted photo)

By Joseph Knoop

HATCH, a program organized to provide area families with access to egg products at local food pantries, has moved into its second phase of operations following a successful pilot program.

Organized with the assistance of Kroger stores, Elanco Animal Health, Rose Acre Farms, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Midwest Food Bank, HATCH provided one egg to local food banks for every Kroger brand medium egg carton purchased. Over 100,000 eggs in total were provided to area food banks after the pilot’s conclusion on June 20.

The challenge HATCH organizers now face is determining how to maintain and expand upon their success following the initial burst of community action.

“We know we want to scale up in terms of geography served,” John Elliott, manager of public affairs for Kroger said. “As we finalize that decision, it’ll include geography and other retailers who might be invited in to participate, as well as other mechanisms to donate.”

Elliott stated that while HATCH served as a huge priority for the company, a careful balance must be maintained between it and other charitable programs Kroger is involved with.

The need to expand the base of food pantry recipients is echoed by other organizers of HATCH as well.

“Hatch is not going to be a short term fix,” Becky Fouard, marketing leader for Elanco, said. “The need is very great. We’ll be trying to create a HATCH model that reaches more.”

Fouard stated that a social media campaign is of significance to HATCH’s continued success. The program will be exploring alternate methods of donation, including text-to-donate.

The Gleaners and Midwest Food Banks serve over 1,000 partners combined. 25,000 families are affected by hunger in Indiana every year.

For more information, go to enoughmovement.com.

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