STATEHOUSE (June 24, 2020) – State Rep. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) encourages 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. Ziemke 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.
"Helping others in need is a big part of what makes Hoosier hospitality so special," Ziemke said. "We have so many food pantries because Hoosiers want to help their neighbors. If we can connect people looking for resources to Operation Food, we can ensure they do not go hungry."
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, Ziemke 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.
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.
Ziemke said 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. Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents House District 55, which includes
all of Fayette County and portions of Decatur, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo of Ziemke.