Grant County lawmakers: Don't go hungry, turn to Indiana's Operation Food for help

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Friday, June 19, 2020 2:35 pm

STATEHOUSE (June 19, 2020) – Area lawmakers encourage Hoosiers who may be struggling to make ends meet and needing food assistance to turn to the state's recently launched Operation Food program for help.  

Indiana's community kitchens, pantries and food banks saw a 154% increase in visits since the onset of COVID-19, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. State Rep. Tony Cook (R- Cicero) said throughout the public health crisis and during the state's ongoing recovery, many families need access to food and local programs are trying to keep up with the demand.   

"Many families across our state are left scrambling for ways to help make ends meet during this ongoing pandemic," Cook said. "More and more Hoosiers are stepping up to help their neighbors during this stressful and uncertain time, and these resources can provide assistance to those who need it most."

Indiana's food distribution network is made up of 12 food banks, and nearly 1,750 pantries and community kitchens. To help pool resources and meet the need, State Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) said FSSA's Operation Food connects the network to hunger relief organizations, like Indy Hunger Network and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, along with the Indiana State Health Department and the Department of Homeland Security. 

"Indiana saw a substantial increase in the number of Hoosiers who are now unemployed or furloughed because of this pandemic," Karickhoff said. "Many are left with strained budgets as they try to make ends meet, and this program helps connect Hoosiers to nearby food assistance."   

Hoosiers can visit and click on "Food Assistance Availability Map" to find help nearby. The map includes pantries, meal sites with packed food ready to take home and eat, and school sites feeding students throughout the summer. Information is also provided on how to make a donation to local food banks as Indiana continues to recover from the health crisis, according to State Rep. Ann Vermilion (R-Marion).

"Operation Food is a crucial program, with many Hoosiers struggling to make ends meet after being hit hard financially from the COVID-19 outbreak," Vermilion said. "The program helps connect people with food sources in their area, ensuring they do not have to go without meals."

Hoosiers can also call 211 to connect to additional resources and programs, including help with housing, utilities and summer food service options for children.


 State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County

and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

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State Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) represents House District 30,
which includes portions of Grant and Howard counties. 

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State Rep. Ann Vermilion (R-Marion) represents House District 31,

which includes all of Blackford County and portions of Delaware,

Grant and Wells counties.

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