The clouds threatened, but sunshine won the day for The Salvation Army’s first annual Harvest Fest, held on October 3 on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The event was a great success, helping to fill The Salvation Army’s Central Indiana food pantries and help thousands of Hoosiers in times of need.

Chef Ian was on site with delicious apple crisp fresh from the kitchens at MCL Restaurant and Bakery. Topped with vanilla ice cream, the sweet treat drew in a hungry crowd that stayed to relax on the Circle and take advantage of a warm October day. Families with children enjoyed the added bonus of our Red Kettle bounce house, always a favorite attraction at Salvation Army events!

It wasn’t too long after the tents went up that the first big donation of the day arrived, from Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center. The excitement of the crowd grew as students unloaded box after box of nonperishable foods that had been collected at their school. The students had reached their goal of 1,000 cans and they were eager get everything loaded onto the awaiting Two Men & A Truck box truck. Then these hard-working kids donned red aprons and got to work ringing bells and helping in the food tent.

Long-time volunteers like Patricia Colvin and Evelyn Higgins were also on hand to scoop apple crisp and promote upcoming Salvation Army events like Christmas City Toy Shop. As the day progressed a steady stream of nonperishable foods filled our collection truck before it headed off to fill the shelves of our local food pantries. By the end of the day, The Salvation Army had collected 2,454 nonperishable items, with many more awaiting pick-up at remote collection sites across the city.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of a $100,000 check from the Walmart Foundation to support The Salvation Army’s feeding programs and help bring immediate relief to thousands of families right here in Central Indiana. Walmart’s grant to The Salvation Army is just part of its $2 billion commitment to help the hungry in America.

The tents are all packed up and the last of the apple crisp is gone, but the impact of Harvest Fest will resonate through the next year as The Salvation Army continues to fight hunger and help those in the most need.

Thank you to our great partners, who make events like Harvest Fest possible: IPL, MCL Restaurant & Bakery, WIBC, Ricker’s, Radio Now 100.9 and Hot 96.3.