Indiana Meals Banks Put together to Improve / Public Information Service
Food banks have handed out millions of pounds of food over the past 18 months as demand soared during the pandemic. (Aerogondo / Adobestock)
By Suzanne Potter – Producer, Contact
June 18, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS – Food Banks Across Indiana Prepare To Use $ 1 Million In Funding During Next Fiscal Year; Money that comes in in mid-July.
Legislators increased the budget by $ 300,000 a year after hunger skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, said millions of people across the country are still in trouble.
“We know for the month of April that the requirement and the pounds distributed were about 45% above that of an average month in 2019,” says Weikert Bryant. “So we’re still seeing above-average demand. We’re still helping people who are still working to make ends meet.”
Weikert Bryant recalled that during the closings on many boards, cars snaked around the block as people picked up prepackaged groceries. And many food banks have had to rent cold rooms to safely store perishable donations and even buy groceries outright to meet demand.
Jennifer Buell, deputy agency director at Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, said clientele increased 16% year over year in 2020. And they estimate that 25% of the children in their catchment area suffer from food insecurity every day.
“It happens over and over again,” emphasized Buell. “And for children, it affects both their physical and cognitive development. And those delays that you see in childhood due to food insecurity can actually last a lifetime.”
Proponents argued that the increased funding will help food banks modernize and expand their facilities so they can continue to fight hunger in the state.
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