OneAmerica Tower to serve as hub for Sahm’s, Second Helpings collaboration
Hunger relief agency Second Helpings and central Indiana restauranteur Sahm’s will convert a large kitchen area and cafeteria inside OneAmerica Tower into a meal-preparation service beginning March 20, providing 1,110 eat-at-home meals for low-income senior citizens and families as a new community response to COVID-19.
The collaboration provides a satellite kitchen location for Second Helpings to use Sahm’s associates to supplement its primary hub at 1121 Southeastern Ave., less than two miles southeast of the Downtown Tower.
Sahm’s Cafeteria and its 12,000-square-foot kitchen, on the first floor of the Tower, have enough workspace to provide social distancing for workers in food preparation, and the adjoining dock makes loading and delivery convenient for meals to be carried to their destination.
“Recognizing that providing food to people who need it is part of an essential service or critical activity for our community during this crisis,” said Jennifer Vigran, Chief Executive Officer for Second Helpings. “This extends our capacity to package and deliver meals for our neighbors here in Indianapolis.”
Seconds Helpings already prepares and delivers 4,500 meals per day to senior centers, shelters and children’s programs throughout central Indiana.
The meals will be delivered to residents of John J. Barton and Richard G. Lugar Towers, Barton Annex, and Indy Parks for distribution. The meals on the first day were chicken parm with potatoes and vegetables for the seniors and chicken penne pasta for the families.
“We believe that we can eventually prepare as many as 10,000 nutritious, delicious, ready-to-eat meals a day down the road, but we are going to rely on the support of the community,” said Ed Sahm, founder and owner of Fishers-based Sahm’s and Big Lug Family Restaurant Group.
The collaboration hopes to expand as financial contributions are being sought as well as commercial food products and professional-grade food service packaging. Anyone in the public who is interested in contributing can go online with financial donations at SecondHelpings.org.
“Second Helpings is committed to being here for the community throughout this crisis,” said Vigran.
OneAmerica® is providing funding to kickstart the collaboration.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come together in large and small ways to support those who need food assistance during these unprecedented times,” said Jen Pittman, vice president of enterprise communications and community affairs for OneAmerica. “We are proud to join Sahm’s and Second Helpings on these initial efforts and encourage others to come forward to sustain this important work.”
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Lou Ann Baker