Lauer, Eberhart: Don't go hungry, turn to Indiana's Operation Food for help

Posted by: Lydia Kirschner  | Thursday, June 18, 2020 10:59 am

STATEHOUSE (June 18, 2020) – State Reps. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) and Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) 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. Lauer 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.   

"The ongoing public health emergency has left many struggling to make ends meet and get sufficient meals for themselves or their families," Lauer said. "There are groups and organizations whose sole mission is to ensure Hoosiers are fed, and they are ready to help."

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, Eberhart 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. 

"The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted everyone in one way or another, unfortunately for many it has caused financial hardships," Eberhart said. "Operation Food can help ease some of the challenges with obtaining food so no one goes hungry."

Hoosiers can visit in.gov/fssa 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.

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


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State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) represents House District 57,
which includes Shelby County and portions of Bartholomew and Hancock counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.