STATEHOUSE (Jan. 15, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives and Feeding Indiana's Hungry are coming together this legislative session to help Hoosiers who are struggling with hunger.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) are leading House lawmakers as they team up with Feeding Indiana's Hungry, the state's network of Feeding America food banks, to launch a donation drive at the Statehouse and statewide hunger awareness campaign.
"The pandemic has had an overwhelming impact on low-income Hoosier families and many of them, perhaps for the first time, turned to their local food banks and pantries to get their next meal," Huston said. "Feeding Indiana's Hungry has stepped up in tremendous ways to help. We hope this partnership helps raise awareness about the food resources available to those in need across Indiana, and encourage others to donate or volunteer."
Feeding America estimates that more than 1 million Hoosiers are food insecure or at risk of hunger – up 30 percent from 2018.
"Now more than ever, people are in great need of food security and food banks like Feeding Indiana's Hungry have been putting it into overdrive to help as many Hoosiers as possible," GiaQuinta said. "House Democrats promise to work with our colleagues across the aisle to ensure there is food on the table for our struggling Hoosiers, whether that be by volunteering, donating or writing legislation."
The Indiana House of Representatives is collecting nonperishable food items like canned meat and fish, peanut butter, soup, healthy snacks, and canned vegetables and fruits. Feeding Indiana's Hungry will distribute any donated food items collected at the Statehouse to their member food banks.
“We are thankful for the commitment of the House to shine a spotlight on the increased need by more than 1 million Hoosiers, who because of COVID-19 and the resulting instability have had difficulty affording enough food for their families,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Our member food banks, working with public and private partners, distributed nearly 150,000,000 pounds of food, equivalent to 125 million meals, in 2020. We will continue to see high levels of need in 2021, and encourage anyone seeking help to search FSSA’s Food Accessibility Map for nearby pantry locations.”
House lawmakers also launched a social media campaign using #HelpingHungryHoosiers to raise awareness for the number of Hoosiers who are food insecure. Families in need can visit FeedingIndianasHungry.org to find support and resources. Hoosiers can also visit www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/food-assistance-availability-map/ to find the nearest available food resources.