Grant from Hoover Family Foundation Helps Feed Wayne Families in Need

Feeding hungry families. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the many initiatives the Wayne Township Education Foundation helps support. But that’s exactly what WTEF has done this past year, by securing funding to help expand the Giants Marketplace monthly food pantry.

“Last summer, I volunteered a couple of times for the food pantry,” said Nina Brahm, past president of the Wayne Township Education Foundation Board of Directors. “I could see the impact it had on our families, and it became evident that further funding would be needed to help the pantry reach more families.”

The pantry, overseen and coordinated by MSD of Wayne Township District Social Worker Stephen Jackson, is a key resource for families in Wayne Township. It operates once a month at the Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center. With two-thirds of the district’s students living in what are considered “economically disadvantaged” households, the food pantry is a key resource in Wayne Township.

Mrs. Brahm was just the person to tackle the job of looking for grants to ensure the food pantry could meet the growing needs of Wayne Township. She has extensive experience in grant writing and administration, having retired in 2019 from more than a decade of running the grants department for the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County.

“I began searching for grants for the pantry, and immediately came upon two great possibilities,” said Mrs. Brahm. “One was the Tegna Foundation (run by the parent company of WTHR), and the second was the Hoover Family Foundation.”

Mrs. Brahm helped secure the Tegna Foundation grant first, which bolstered the food pantry with a much-needed $5,000. The more recent grant from the Hoover Family Foundation provided an additional $8,000 for the food pantry to purchase more food from its partner at the Gleaners Community Food Bank. As a result, 1,300 additional families are receiving meal boxes from the pantry in 2023.

“Nina’s grant-writing work has been invaluable for us in supporting our students and families,” said Wayne Township Education Foundation Executive Director Lisa Baize. “If students are hungry, their ability to engage with the curriculum is compromised. Helping feed our students throughout the year is a basic, important step in making sure they can come to school ready to learn.”

The Wayne Township Education Foundation (WTEF) provides community leadership to enrich, engage, and stimulate teaching and learning in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. WTEF accomplishes this by supporting school programs and resources, while recognizing excellence among students and staff. To learn more about WTEF, call 317-988-7966, visit, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @WayneTwpEdFound.