Hunger Organizations Detail Troubling Trend

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Elliott took over as Gleaners CEO in May. Elliott took over as Gleaners CEO in May.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Several Indiana hunger relief organizations say they are facing double-digit declines in giving. Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana says holiday season donations are down 10 to 15 percent compared to prior years. Second Helpings, CICOA Aging and In Home Services and St. Vincent DePaul are also reporting lower-than-normal year-end giving.

"While funds and food do continue to come in," Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana CEO John Elliott says, "the pace and volume is off significantly from prior years. Should the trend continue throughout the year, the impact would be significant: over 2 million fewer meals provided to those in need."

Second Helpings, which provides hot meals to children, seniors and families in need, says it is on pace to see one of the lowest levels of holiday giving in years. CEO Jennifer Vigran calls it a "troubling trend," since the organization relies on individuals for more than half of its revenue.

The donation decline comes at a bad time. The United States Department of Agriculture says Indiana's number of food insecure has increased to 14.8 percent, despite national trends showing hunger on the decline.

Organizations like Second Helpings and Gleaners work with other hunger relief agencies as part of the Indy Hunger Network. Member organizations say donations received during the holidays fund programs in the summer and throughout the year.

You can contribute to hunger relief efforts in Indianapolis and beyond through Gleaners.org and SecondHelpings.org.

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