Bloomington, Indiana – October 11, 2023
The Hoosier Hills Food Bank is set to host its 39th Annual Community Book Fair, offering a six-day literary extravaganza in support of the organization’s mission to alleviate food insecurity in the region. This year, the book fair is slated to unfold from October 12th through October 17th, at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Bloomington.
With the goal of fostering a sense of community and supporting a noble cause, this book fair will occupy two large buildings, brimming with a diverse assortment of over 100,000 items. Attendees can browse through an impressive selection of books, DVDs, CDs, LPs, games, puzzles, and other intriguing items, all offered at pocket-friendly prices.
Book enthusiasts will find something special in the form of an extensive collection of children’s books and “Better Books,” including a selection of sought-after vintage vinyl LPs.
The 39th Annual Community Book Fair is poised to be an exciting gathering, featuring some new and expanded attractions. Attendees can expect an array of music CDs, food trucks, the delightful Chocolate Moose ice cream available for purchase, as well as valuable information about veteran services. In addition, a limited number of free t-shirts will be distributed on Friday, October 13th. This year, the fair partners with Constellation Stage & Screen for “Curious George Day,” promoting their community access tickets program and the upcoming October/November show, “Curious George: The Golden Meatball.”
The opening day, October 12th, holds a special surprise in the form of a brief ceremony to introduce “Ruby,” the latest addition to the food bank’s fleet. Ruby is a 26-foot refrigerated box truck that was ordered two years ago but faced supply chain delays. The ceremony begins at 8:30 am and coincides with the fair’s commencement.
The Book Fair schedule for the week is as follows:
- Thursday, October 12th: 9 am – 7 pm, with a $10 admission fee. It’s also Veteran’s Appreciation Day, with veterans and active duty military admitted for free. The Monroe County Veteran’s Services will host an information table, and Little Bowl Thai food truck will be on-site.
- Friday, October 13th: 9 am – 7 pm, with free admission. For those who spend $50, a spooky t-shirt awaits, while supplies last. Pili’s Taco Party food truck will tantalize taste buds.
- Saturday, October 14th: 9 am – 6 pm, with free admission. It’s “Curious George Day,” offering a free Curious George Haunted Halloween book for kids, subject to availability. B97 will host a live remote broadcast with games and prizes. The Arepa food truck will be on-site to satisfy appetites.
- Sunday, October 15th: 9 am – 6 pm, with free admission. It’s “Half-price Day” and “Heroes Day,” where all items will be half-priced. Attendees can meet Monroe Fire District firefighters, and Little Bowl Thai will serve its delectable dishes.
- Monday, October 16th: 9 am – 6 pm, with free admission. It’s “Bag It Day” – visitors can fill unlimited bags for $10 each. “Better Books” can be filled into a $20 bag, limited to one per customer.
- Tuesday, October 17th: 9 am – 6 pm, with free admission. It’s another “Bag It Day,” with attendees able to fill unlimited bags for $5 each. However, “Better Books” will be closed on this day.
While “Better Books” and some select items are individually priced, the majority follow consistent pricing: Hardback Books ($3), Paperback Books ($1), Children’s Hardbacks ($1), Children’s Paperbacks (50 cents), DVDs ($2), CDs ($1), and LPs & VHS (50 cents).
In addition to a literary bonanza, the book fair also serves as a platform for community engagement. A food drive will be conducted throughout the fair’s duration. Those who bring a non-perishable food donation will receive a $1 book buck coupon. Kids under 18 who contribute to the food drive will be rewarded with a free book coupon.
It is essential to note that Hoosier Hills Food Bank accepts book donations year-round, with one exception: during the month of October. The organization kindly requests that donors abstain from bringing book donations during the book fair month.
Sponsorships play a crucial role in the success of the book fair. This year’s sponsors include Gold Level supporters: Catalent, Kroger, and Monroe County Fairgrounds. Corporate Level sponsors consist of Boston Scientific, Finney Hospitality Group, HFI Mechanical & Building Solutions, Hoosier Energy, Lamar Advertising Company, Master Rental, Morgenstern’s Books, One World Enterprises, Republic Services, and Southside Rental. Benefactors include Bill C. Brown Associates, Kiwanis Club of Bloomington, Kritzer Insurance, Monday Morning Sorters, and Phedcomm.
The opening day of the book fair, October 12th, will commence with a short opening ceremony at 8:30 am, introducing “Ruby” to the fleet. Attendees can enjoy light refreshments during the ceremony. “Ruby” is a 2023 International 26 ft. refrigerated box truck, initially funded by a $77,000 grant from Kroger. This grant was further supplemented through a capital campaign during Hoosier Hills Food Bank’s Ruby Anniversary year. Additional support came from Monroe County Government ARPA funds, Smithville Charitable Foundation, SCI REMC, the Community Foundations of Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Owen counties, as well as contributions from over 25 private donors. The vehicle’s total cost is $144,000, and it will be utilized for collecting and delivering food across the six counties served by HHFB.
Notably, food truck schedules are subject to change during the course of the fair.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank is dedicated to collecting and distributing over 5.5 million pounds of food annually, servicing people with low incomes, the ill, seniors, and children in Brown, Lawrence, Orange, Owen, Martin, and Monroe counties. For further information, please visit hhfoodbank.org.
Additionally, Constellation Stage & Screen offers a Community Access Tickets initiative, designed to provide opportunities for children and families with limited financial resources to attend theatrical productions. One of their featured productions this year is “Curious George: The Golden Meatball,” featuring music by John Kavanaugh and book and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon. The show will run from October 20th to November 5, 2023, at the Waldron Auditorium and is recommended for all ages. “Curious George: The Golden Meatball” brings to life everyone’s favorite mischievous monkey and “The Man in the Yellow Hat” in an adventure-filled musical. The story revolves around Curious George’s mission to save the Golden Meatball Contest in Rome, delivering a heartwarming message of encouragement, determination, and selfless love. For more information, visit seeconstellation.org.