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 was startled to learn that 54 percent of food bank clients have visited a food pantry monthly for at least six months or more over the past year,” said Rep. Mahan. “With the help of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Hoosiers from across the state can join together to make sure no one goes hungry in our state.”
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.
“It is remarkable how much Feeding Indiana’s Hungry is able to accomplish with the help of so many dedicated volunteers,” said Rep. Mahan. “A majority of food pantries and soup kitchens are served by this network and rely entirely on volunteers. I encourage anyone looking to give back in their community to consider working with this wonderful program.”
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.