In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Indianapolis saw a stark uptick in concentrated poverty. Downtown Indianapolis—with coffee shops and farm-to-table restaurants—continues to enjoy a developing cultural scene, but other regions of the city face a mounting crisis. Indianapolis was recently ranked worst in the country for food access1, and a study by Feeding America reported that 19.4 percent of Marion County (primarily Indianapolis) faces food insecurity, compared to the national average of 15.4 percent2. Many residents have to walk over one mile to reach their nearest grocery store, pushing them to rely on snacks from gas stations instead of fresh, healthy produce.
The Patachou Foundation is a mainstay of the Indianapolis community, working to undo the effects of food insecurity and inaccessibility in the city. Using the Patachou, Inc. restaurant’s production kitchen, the Patachou Foundation prepares and serves high-quality meals, while volunteer educators and chefs teach kids about both nutrition and food preparation. Patachou maintains this labor-intensive operation with a roster of skilled volunteers—many of whom are professional restaurant workers—who prepare and serve around 350 meals per week.
Pro Bono at All Levels
The Patachou Foundation has used high-impact pro bono support in many ways at their organization. Hunger nonprofits often tackle several deep-seated issues at once, from poverty to food access to nutrition. Patachou wanted to tell this story succinctly but was struggling to tie together all the pieces that comprise hunger issues. To do this, they connected with Eli Lilly and Company’s Elanco branch for a communications project. Giving back to the community, Eli Lilly conducted a training for Patachou’s executive team and board of directors, which involved a one-day seminar and ‘Think on Your Feet’ coaching on communication. Patachou now has crisp and succinct messaging which has resulted in clearer communications across the organization.
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