INDIANAPOLIS - Dave Miner has traveled as far as Africa to feed hungry children – a mission that even a plane crash in a third world country hasn't deterred.
Since his days at Purdue University, Miner has spent his free time volunteering to help feed the hungry. Now, years later, he's as determined as ever to make sure everyone has a healthy meal.
"I just thought this wasn't right," Miner said. "And so it started when I was in grad school, and it's just grown from there."
These days, Miner rarely finds himself in food pantries like St. Vincent de Paul. He spends most of his time at the administrative level, trying to figure out better ways to ensure nobody goes hungry,
"I was looking at the systems and realizing that the different pieces weren't connected and thinking, boy, there could be real power if people worked together," Miner said.
As head of the Interfaith Hunger Initiative and, more recently, chairman of the volunteer organization Indy Hunger Network, Miner works to bring together the 200 or so food banks and pantries in the metro area to better serve the needy.
Pete Whithey helps manage the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry and has worked with Miner for years. He's seen his passion and drive to make a good group of charities become even better.
"Dave is fully committed to serving the poor, not only here but overseas," Whithey said. "Dave is the glue that holds the network together."
Bringing people together and solving problems is what Miner does best, even at the national level as a board member for Bread for the World.
For his dedication and commitment to the Indianapolis area, Miner has been selected as the latest recipient of the Jefferson Award.
But Miner won't be resting on his laurels. He's set an ambitious goal for himself as head of the Indy Hunger Network.
"We have a goal that by the end of next year there's enough food for everybody who needs it in Marion County," Miner said.
To nominate someone for a Jefferson Award, read the nomination criteria and fill out the form here.