Authorities Funds for Meals Banks in Indiana – AgriNews
INDIANAPOLIS – A total of $ 300,000 in government funds will be distributed to 11 food banks in Indiana to provide assistance and services to those in need of Hoosiers. Funding came from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through the Indiana General Assembly.
“With support from the Indiana Legislature and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, we continue to fight food insecurity,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development. “While this is just the beginning, we are proud to be helping improve food security for Hoosier families.”
According to Feeding Indianas Hungry, the association of state food banks, the impact of the COVID-19 virus on food insecurity for Indiana residents will increase by 40% in 2020. This will put one in five Hoosier at risk of starvation, including more than 414,500 children who do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Every day, and even more so in response to the coronavirus, Indiana regional food banks are distributing groceries and other items directly or through local pantries and soup kitchens at Hoosiers in all 92 counties.
To help customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana food banks turned their normal distribution system upside down and quickly adapted to the situation. With the help of several government agencies and the Indiana National Guard, they are sure to serve a growing number of Hoosiers affected by illness and unemployment.
“This year’s funding will help food banks meet the growing needs of Hoosiers, many of whom first sought help when the COVID-19 pandemic began and is expected to last for months,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, general manager Director of the association.
“Food banks have had to purchase significant amounts of groceries as donated groceries from retail sources have declined, while the cost of staff, logistics and personal protective equipment to supply thousands of households weekly has increased.”
A beneficiary, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, will use the funds to support the distribution of additional purchased groceries for its programs and partner agencies in six counties.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank has already distributed the equivalent of 1.7 million meals during the COVID-19 crisis, a 52% increase from 2019 by purchasing significantly more food to offset the decline in retail, grocery shopping and donations for balance prepared foods.
“This support from the State of Indiana is particularly helpful this year,” said Julio Alonso, executive director and CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank. “COVID-19 has a huge impact on both food needs and food donations. With this help we can serve a greater number of hoosiers who are suffering from hunger and food insecurity despite a sharp decline in regular sources of donated food. “
Funding was provided by Indiana law under the two-year budget. The amounts distributed were based on the fair share percentage of the Food Aid Support Program, which measures poverty and unemployment in each county.
“One in five Hoosier faces food insecurity,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA director. “As we combat this problem, I salute the organizations, farmers and countless others on a mission dedicated to ending hunger in our state.”
The following is a list of the food banks that received funding for fiscal 2021:
• Community Harvest Food Bank – $ 29,970
• Dare to Maintain the Food Bank – $ 10,890
• Northern Indiana Food Bank – $ 34,890
• Northwest Indiana Food Bank – $ 29,310
• Food Finders Food Bank Inc. – $ 27,720
• FreeStore Foodbank – $ 2,490
• Indiana Inc.’s Gleaners Food Bank – $ 96,480
• Hoosier Hills Food Bank Inc. – $ 12,960
• East Central IN Inc. Second Harvest Food Bank – $ 23,640
• Terre Haute Foodbank Inc. Catholic Charity – $ 13,230
• Tri-State Food Bank Inc. – $ 18,420