NIPSCO Gets Out to Serve Up Hope for the Holidays

Round the Clock restaurant in Highland had a nearly full parking lot on Friday morning. Besides being a great breakfast spot, it was the location for a special day of giving.

Special guests donned aprons and served the patrons that dined there that morning as part of a fundraising initiative for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, a nonprofit organization that provides nutritional support to those in need. They work with around 100 community agencies in Lake and Porter Counties with the focuses and goals being to end hunger and guide those in need to independence and self-sufficiency.

"This guest serving opportunity is part of our Hope for the Holidays program," Arleen Peterson, Executive Director of the Food Bank said. "One of the things about feeding the hungry is that it is about service so we really wanted to make sure that our supporters and donors who do great things for us get a chance to actually serve the community. And what better way to do that then in a service atmosphere and with a neighborhood restaurant like Round the Clock?"

That morning guests could have their coffee refreshed or meal delivered by:

  • Vanessa Allen – CEO, Urban League of NWI
  • Chris Bengtson – Chief Operating Officer, Strack and Van Til
  • Jim Dedelow – Owner/Host, WJOB-AM
  • Ken Diehl – President, Strack and Van Til
  • Jennifer Holmes – VP Admin, Strategy &. Comm Dev, Urban League of NWI
  • Thomas Keon – Chancellor, Purdue University Calumet
  • Frank J. Mrvan – North Township Trustee
  • James Muhammad – CEO, Lakeshore Public Media
  • Arleen Peterson – Executive Director, Food Bank of NWI
  • Jim Stanley – CEO, NIPSCO
  • Stan Swinton – Chief Merchandising Officer, Strack and Van Til
  • Alexis Vasquez Dedelow – Owner, WJOB-AM
  • Chris White – Publisher, Times of NWI

A portion of the morning's sales at the restaurant will be donated to the NWI Food Bank and NIPSCO made a pledge to match donations up to $20,000 for the organization as well. A partnership with Walgreens is also under way to help keep the Food Bank going strong. The act of giving seems to come naturally from those in NWI.

"There are a few different reasons why we at NIPSCO do this," Jim Stanley, NIPSCO CEO said. "We love to help the Food Bank of NWI. They do great work in the area and there are lots of folks who are hurting or need some help and they are always there to lend a hand. This is also an easy way for NIPSCO to give back to the community. It's a great way to get our employees engaged, and this event today is a great way for me to try and keep up with our employees. They are doing lots of things like this."

The funds raised will buy food to supply two mobile pantry events in Lake and Porter Counties as well as senior programs, family programs, and youth programs that the Food Bank of NWI offers.

"NIPSCO and the Food Bank have a great relationship helping serve those across the region,"Kathleen Szot, NIPSCO External Communications Manager said. "This is another way that we can help support their mission. We're really glad that all of the community leaders could come out and put a face to their company and help support this cause."

The two holiday food distributions, sponsored by NIPSCO, will be held first on December 13th at Portage High School at 9:30am, and second will take place at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville on December 20th at 9:30am. Representatives from Walgreens will be on location providing free flu shots.