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The Scoop

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NIPR drive meets pledge goal, aids food bank

Statement issued Thursday:

Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) exceeded the goal for its recently concluded fall fund drive, and in the process helped generate more than two tons of donated produce to Community Harvest Food Bank’s Farm Wagon Program.

The nine-day fund drive, which concluded on Sunday, October 23, generated $120,000 in listener pledges. And beyond the support for public broadcasting, the effort helped generate produce for Fort Wayne’s Community Harvest Food Bank.

“We partner with the folks at Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, who have agreed to contribute three meals’ worth of produce to CHFB’s Farm Wagon Program for every pledge made to public radio,” said NIPR general manager Will Murphy. “That should translate to over two tons of produce. It was a real treat to blend the mission of public radio with the goal of helping Community Harvest, which does such phenomenal work. And the folks at Green B.E.A.N are a real asset to the community.”

Green B.E.A.N. is a regional food delivery service operating in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. According to Colleen Freeland Towner with Green B.E.A.N., the agency will contribute onions, green beans, and potatoes to the Farm Wagon program. She notes that “Farm Wagon began in 1999 as a response to the food bank’s frustrating lack of ability to handle large volumes of fresh commodities in a timely and safe manner.”

Murphy said it was gratifying to meet the fundraising goal when economic times are tough for many Indiana residents. “I took several pledges from listeners who told me they had just lost their jobs, but they were still going to chip in what they could,” Murphy said. “Many of them apologized for not being able to send more, but I was touched by their generosity in such a time of personal adversity.”

More than one thousand listeners from around the region pledged their support to public broadcasting during the fall drive.

NIPR membership manager Dave Hunter echoed Murphy’s praise for the public radio listeners who called in their pledges. “Our members and listeners are some of the most passionate and generous people I've ever known,” he said. “Twice a year we come to them and ask that they help us pay for the programs they listen to and believe in, and they always come through."

Corporate match support for NIPR from local businesses was also on the rise, according to NIPR corporate engagement manager Carrie Boylan. “Companies around our region continue to see value in our programming. It keeps employees informed and aids in their work, which our corporate partners feel deserves generous support.” Boylan notes that corporate support during fund drive is up by 40 percent from last year. “We are very grateful,” she said.

Like many public radio stations, NIPR operates two fund drives each year. Murphy says listener support is the largest single component of the local station budget, accounting for 40 percent of the station’s annual revenues. Underwriting support, foundation grants, and government support round out the budget.

NIPR offers talk and jazz programming on station WBOI (89.1 FM), with classical music featured on sister station WBNI (89.1 FM).

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