Eleven Indiana food banks will receive $300,000 in state funding to provide assistance and services to Hoosiers in need. According to the state’s food bank association, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could increase food insecurity by 40% among Indiana residents in 2020.
The funding comes from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through the Indiana General Assembly.
“With the support of the Indiana legislature and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, we continue the fight against food insecurity,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “While this is only the start, we’re proud to play a part in bringing greater food security to Hoosier families.”
The ISDA says one in five Hoosiers are at risk of hunger, including more than 400,000 children. To help clients, the department says food banks around the state are serving a growing number of people impacted by illness and unemployment.
“This year’s funding will help food banks continue to meet increased need from Hoosiers, many of whom sought assistance for the first time when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and is expected to continue for months to come,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Food banks have had to purchase substantial amounts of food as donated food from retail sources has lessened, while incurring increased expenses for staff, logistics and personal protective equipment to serve thousands of households each week.”
Funding recipients for fiscal year 2021 include:
- Community Harvest Food Bank – $29,970
- Dare to Care Food Bank – $10,890
- Food Bank of Northern Indiana – $34,890
- Food Bank of Northwest Indiana – $29,310
- Food Finders Food Bank Inc. – $27,720
- FreeStore Foodbank– $2,490
- Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Inc. – $96,480
- Hoosier Hills Food Bank Inc. – $12,960
- Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central IN Inc. – $23,640
- Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank Inc. – $13,230
- Tri-State Food Bank Inc. – $18,420
The ISDA says Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington is planning to use the funding to support distribution of additional purchased food for its programs and partner agencies in six counties. Hoosier Hills has already distributed the equivalent of 1.7 million meals, up 52% from 2019.
Chief Executive Officer Julio Alonso says the state funding is especially helpful this year.
“COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on both the need for food and on food donations. With this help, we can serve an increased number of Hoosiers facing hunger and food insecurity despite a big decline in regular sources of donated food,” said Alonso.
The funding was provided by the Indiana Legislature, as part of the biennial budget. The distribution amounts were determined using the Emergency Food Assistance Program fair share percentage, which captures poverty and unemployment levels in each county.