The Indy Hunger Network, a non-profit organization based in Indianapolis, has found a way to support truckers, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and help those in need with their forward-thinking Food Drop program, which is successfully running throughout the state of Indiana.

Frequently, truck drivers will arrive at their destination with a load of food, only to have the delivery rejected due to damage to the food during transit, order errors, or other factors. Often, the only option for the drivers is to dump the delivery into a landfill, wasting hundreds of pounds of edible food and causing unnecessary waste.

Now, truckers passing through Indiana can use the program to connect with food banks that can put those unwanted products to good use. They accept sealed grocery items — whether fresh, dry, refrigerated or frozen — with original labels, as long as they are non-perishable and non-alcoholic.

The program is the brainchild of John Whitaker, executive director of the Midwest Food Bank. With a history of working within both the trucking and grocery industries, he had first-hand experience of the struggles drivers face when trying to dispose of unwanted food. Whitaker connected with the Indy Hunger Network, and the program was launched in 2017. More than 90,000 pounds of food was donated in the first six months alone.

A win-win for all involved, the truckers don’t have to pay landfill fees, and receive a tax deduction for the donated goods.

There are nine food backs across Indiana that have the capacity to accept large-scale donations; contact details and further information can be found on the Food Drop website.

Due to the success of this initiative, the Indy Hunger Network is considering expanding the service to other states.