Million Meal Marathon set for Oct. 25 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse


By Jillian Kurtz

For the 12th year, Hoosiers will come together for a day of volunteering at the Million Meal Marathon — the signature event of the Million Meal Movement, founded by Carmel residents Nancy and Dan Hintz.

From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25, thousands of volunteers of all ages will gather at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to prepare meals for Indiana residents in need.

The movement began nearly 20 years ago. When Nancy and Dan Hintz moved to Carmel in 2003, they wanted their children to have experience volunteering and helping others to develop that into their adult lives.

“I was looking around for organizations that I could serve with my kids, and in terms of organizations that have hands-on experiences, there are few of those as it is, and I couldn’t find any for children,” Nancy said.  “One evening, I saw on the nightly news there was a feature of people making a difference in another state, people of all ages and abilities were coming to serve their community.”

Nancy was inspired by the segment and looked to see if there was anything similar in Indiana. When she discovered that there wasn’t, she gathered some information, and after talking with her husband, they created the Million Meal Movement.

The movement launched in 2007 with a two-fold vision: feeding the hungry and teaching the importance of volunteerism.

“It’s incredible, because you have everyone from CEOs to young students and everyone in between,” Nancy said.

There are multiple ways to help reach that million meal mark this year. Anyone can sign up for a shift and pack meals, but those unable to make it Oct. 25 can make a monetary donation to help cover the cost of ingredients.

After the marathon, packed meals will be distributed across the state to food banks and pantries.

Since its start in 2010, the Million Meal Marathon has provided more than 32 million meals thanks to the efforts of more than 17,000 volunteers.

“People are starting to recognize the name and know what we do and know that the food stays local to Indiana,” Nancy said. “I see it continuing to grow. We are experiencing more and more schools wanting to get involved, which is wonderful for classes to work together.”

For more about sponsoring a packing table and enrolling a group to volunteer, visit