This month, members of the General Assembly have joined forces in the fight against Hoosier hunger. Partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the nation’s largest food bank network, my fellow legislators and I are working to raise awareness and assist with the state’s domestic hunger relief efforts.
To kick off the month of awareness, all four of our caucus leaders participated in a public service announcement which can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/cqfNSUt6pXw. I truly believe that if we all work together we can help our fellow Hoosiers that have fallen on difficult times by raising awareness and assisting organizations in their hunger relief efforts in Indiana.
In 2011, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report stated that 13 percent of Hoosier households are food insecure. Today, one in four Hoosier children experience lack of accessible nutrition required for a healthy lifestyle. This translates to a little over 350,000 children statewide. In addition, more than one million Hoosiers statewide are at risk of hunger.
The Feeding Indiana’s Hungry organization sponsors 11 regional 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. Each food bank supplies roughly 117,900 Hoosiers with food assistance each week.
When I hear these statistics about Hoosiers experiencing food insecurity, I am eager to work towards ensuring that every Hoosier has enough food to eat. Through coordination with FISH and various food banks across the state, I know we can begin working together towards that goal.
To join in the fight against hunger, there are many ways to participate. Hoosiers in the Jasper area can off non-perishable items of food to Tri-State Food Bank at 801 E. Michigan St. in Evansville. You can also donate online. I would encourage you to spread the word around your neighborhood, with your friends, and at your workplace. Anything that you and your family can contribute will certainly help a fellow Hoosier, and help to end hunger in Indiana.