STATEHOUSE — Members of the General Assembly have joined forces in the fight against Hoosier hunger. Partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Inc., a statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks, lawmakers are working to raise awareness and assist with the state’s domestic hunger relief efforts through the month of February.
All four caucus leaders participated in a public service announcement which can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/cqfNSUt6pXw (30 seconds) or http://youtu.be/m9Z4ba-ilew (60 seconds) to kick off the month of awareness.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important partnerships like this are towards raising awareness of the struggles of Hoosier families,” said Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne). “Many families have been hit hard by the recent recession, and it is important that they know they do not have to go through this alone. There are resources out there to help them.”
In 2011, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report states that 13 percent Hoosier households are food insecure. Today, one in four Hoosier children, an estimated 358,000 statewide, experience a lack of accessible nutrition required for a healthy lifestyle. In addition, more than one million Hoosiers statewide are at risk of hunger.
“Last year, of all the food distributed by member food banks associated with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, 67 percent of it was donated. This means the majority of their work is made possible through the kindness of Hoosiers,” said Rep. Lehman. “When it comes to feeding our state, every can counts. Every donation is a generous one, and it truly does make a difference.”
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry has 11 regional member food banks, each serving a specific geographic area. The food banks supply food to more than 1700 local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, church pantries, day cares and other nonprofits. The food banks provide sustenance for roughly 117,900 Hoosiers each week throughout all 92 counties, giving emergency food assistance to those in need.
“Feeding Indiana's Hungry and our member food banks are thankful for the attention that the Indiana General Assembly and its caucus leaders are giving to hunger,” said Emily Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “One in six is at risk of hunger in Indiana, and those Hoosiers live in every county and every legislative district across the state. By coming together, we can shed light on the shadows of hunger and bring our neighbors together to prevent anyone in our state from worrying about where to find their next meal.”
To join in the fight against hunger, there are many ways to participate. By visiting www.feedingindianashungry.org or calling 2-1-1, you can locate a food bank or food agency near you.