Feeding Indiana's Hungry

Indiana's State Association of Food Banks

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Hoosier Hunters Asked to Help Feed Hungry

There is a way for Hoosiers who love the outdoors to help those who don’t have enough to eat during the holidays.

Hunters often spend sunrise to sunset stalking deer for sport and for food, and many end up with more than they need.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund pays for deer to be processed into venison burgers, and those are then donated to local food banks.

Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, says the people who get the donated meat are very thankful.

“A lot of Hoosiers are quite familiar with venison,” she points out. “A lot of us grew up having it for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, and so there are a lot of Hoosiers around the state who are in need of food assistance who would be really excited about the thought of having some venison for the holidays.”

In 2015, hunters donated more than 1,300 deer to food banks, providing thousands of Hoosiers with food.

Several organizations that have teamed up with Dubois County Sportsmens Club and Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry have a network of participating butcher shops throughout Indiana, and they coordinate with food banks serving every county to pick up and deliver venison.

Weikert Bryant says the venison is a good source of lean protein that many families otherwise may not be able to afford.

“And it’s something that we get donated through the food banks as far as protein, but it doesn’t always come, and it’s certainly the most expensive thing for our clients to find and pay for themselves,” she points out.

Between 2013 and 2015, Indiana hunters provided food to almost 220,000 Hoosiers.

To participate, hunters must take the deer to a participating butcher. A full list is available on the DNR’s website.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service – IN

HOUSE PASSES BILLIONS IN CUTS TO FOOD ASSISTANCE THAT HELPS 650,000 HOOSIERS

The 2018 budget resolution that the House of Representatives passed last Thursday strips billions of dollars from a program that helps working families put food on the table to accommodate massive tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy. Alongside drastic cuts to programs that expand economic opportunity for ordinary Americans, the budget includes major reductions in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, helped 654,122 Hoosiers keep healthy food on the table in August.

“SNAP is one of the most cost-effective tools we have in the fight against hunger and poverty,” said Jessica Fraser, program director of the Indiana Institute for Working Families and c0-chair for SNAP Works for Hoosiers. “It’s also good for our economy. When families can afford to buy groceries, it pumps money back into local businesses and fuels long-term economic growth. This budget abandons our commitment to ensure no child goes hungry and paints a dark picture of our priorities, cutting critical programs for working families, seniors, children and people with disabilities to set up tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy.”

Just like the House, the Senate is working to pass a budget resolution that opens the door for similar drastic cuts and massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. These tax giveaways would add over $1.5 trillion to budget deficits and likely force even deeper cuts to programs like SNAP that help 290,000 Hoosier households. These cuts would pull the rug out from under the most vulnerable in our society, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. And to pass this dangerous tax plan, Republicans in the Senate are also establishing a partisan process that allows them to cut taxes for the top 1 percent with just 50 votes.

Before America made a national commitment to end hunger, some areas of the country had serious problems with hunger, including children suffering from malnutrition. Although the food assistance SNAP provides is extremely modest – averaging only $4.00 per recipient per day – the program successfully keeps more than 8 million people out of poverty nationwide, including nearly 4 million children. Looking at 2009-2012 averages, in Indiana alone SNAP helped keep 110,000 of children out of poverty and improves long-term health, education, and employment outcomes for children across the state.

“If Hoosier families lose SNAP benefits, thousands in our community could go hungry,” said Emily Weikert Bryant of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, also a co-chair of SNAP Works for Hoosiers. “Our food banks do good work to help families, but they cannot fill the gap that these cuts would create. Instead of supporting tax cuts that help those who need it the least and the expense of those struggling to get by, Senators Donnelly and Young should pledge to protect SNAP and other poverty-reduction programs in the federal budget. We all win when our communities are healthy and prosperous.”

SNAP also supports local economic growth. Families spend their SNAP benefits at local grocery stores and other retailers, driving $1.1 billion into our state’s economy each year. If SNAP is cut, retailers could take a hit, and many of our communities, especially in rural areas, could lose businesses and jobs.

In addition to slashing SNAP funding, the House and Senate budgets would force devastating cuts to Medicaid and programs that provide income assistance, job training, help for students struggling to afford college, and economic development. If these budgets become law, they will only worsen the growing gap between the richest households and everyone else.

September 26 is National Voter Registration Day

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry events will register voters at Indiana food banks

Today, Americans will celebrate National Voter Registration Day with a massive 50-state effort to register voters before the next election.

With important local and state elections in 2018 only months away, every eligible American voter should exercise his or her right to be heard at the ballot box. National Voter Registration Day is the right place to start by getting registered. As a nonpartisan “holiday” for democracy, National Voter Registration Day counts on thousands of partners and volunteers across the political spectrum as well as nonpartisan nonprofits like Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

“Although Indiana’s next election is not until 2018, it’s important for every Hoosier to register to ensure their voice is heard. As a nonprofit representing anti-hunger service providers, we feel it’s important to assist our clients so that they’re able to participate in our democratic process,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

Partner organizations will coordinate hundreds of National Voter Registration Day events nationwide and leverage #NationalVoterRegistrationDay on all social media platforms to drive attention to voter registration. Events can be located by visiting https://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/.

Hoosiers can register at several events across Indiana and online at http://www.indianavoters.com/. Indiana residents with a valid Indiana driver’s license or Indiana state-issued identification card will be able to use this tool to submit a new voter registration application, confirm they are registered, or to update an existing voter registration record if they’ve recently moved, turned 18, or changed their name.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry will register voters at the following events today:

Voter Registration Drive at Gleaners’ Community Cupboard
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Community Cupboard 3737 Waldemere Ave Indianapolis, IN 46241

Voter Registration Drive at Food Finders Food Bank’s JP Lisack Community Food Pantry
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Food Finders Food Bank Food Resource & Education Center (FREC)
1204 Greenbush Street Lafayette, IN 47909

About National Voter Registration Day

Founded in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is designed to create an annual moment when the entire nation focuses on registering Americans to exercise their most basic right – the right to vote. More than two million Americans have registered to vote on this day since the inaugural National Voter Registration Day.

 

First Farmers Bank & Trust Donates to Million Meals Program

Governor Eric Holcomb joined employees of First Farmers Bank and Trust and Indiana Pork farmers to present a $10,000 check to the Million Meals program through Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

Indiana Pork’s Million Meals program received a boost thanks to a $10,000 donation by First Farmers Bank & Trust, headquartered in Converse, IN, during the Ham Breakfast held opening morning of the Indiana State Fair on August 3. Since its inception in 2009, the Million Meals program has provided more than one million ground pork meals to Hoosiers in need through a partnership with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, an association representing Indiana’s food banks.

“As the largest agricultural bank east of the Mississippi River, First Farmers Bank & Trust is focused on production agriculture as it is the backbone of our business and the great state of Indiana. We feel the Million Meals program is a tremendous way to honor our farmers and employees by sharing the blessings of agriculture with the less fortunate in our communities,” said Jeff Rodibaugh, Vice President Commercial Production Manager, First Farmers Bank & Trust.

The Million Meals program is truly an Indiana effort with the pork provided by Indiana Packer’s Corporation in Delphi and the processing at McFarling Foods in Indianapolis. The ground pork is distributed among Feeding Indiana’s Hungry member food banks throughout the state.

“We are very thankful to First Farmers Bank & Trust for their generous donation. The Million Meals program continues to be a wonderful partnership for our association, Indiana Pork and the generous contributors that make it happen,” said Emily Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

New Survey Finds One in Five Households in Indiana Unable to Afford Enough Food in 2011

Indiana is 16th Worst in the Nation and Not Improving

INDIANAPOLIS—20 percent of respondents in Indiana reported in 2011 not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some points during the prior twelve months, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  This placed Indiana at the 16th highest rate of food hardship in the nation, and the worst in the Midwest.

This unique report provides data on food hardship – the inability to afford enough food – for every region, every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). For Indiana, it found that:

  • In 2011, 20.3 percent of households surveyed in the state said they were unable to afford enough food at times during the year. In 2010, the same report indicated that Indiana also had 20.3 percent food hardship, but the state ranking was marginally better at 17th worst in the nation.
  • 8 out of the 9 Congressional Districts in Indiana had 15 percent or more of their residents reporting food hardship in 2010-2011.

“These new data show us just how much people are struggling in our communities, and underline that far too many of them are finding it a challenge to afford enough food for their families,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “These data mirror the trends of the annual report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ‘food insecurity’, a comparable measure, and show that the situation is not improving in Indiana as it appears to have begun to in some other states.”

FRAC’s food hardship report analyzes data that were collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing almost 1,000 households daily since January 2008. FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”

“Rising food prices, continuing high unemployment and underemployment, and flat food stamp benefit allotments all contributed to the high food hardship rate in 2011,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Particularly challenging was the increase in food inflation, especially for the foods the government uses to construct the Thrifty Food Plan, its cheapest diet. Food stamp beneficiaries lost more than six percent of their food purchasing power because of this increase.”

Recent polling data, released last month by FRAC, demonstrate the broad support among Americans for the federal nutrition programs and for a stronger role by government in ending hunger. Seven in 10 voters said the federal government should have a major role to ensure that low-income families and children have the food and nutrition they need. Seventy-seven percent of voters say that cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) would be the wrong way to reduce government spending.

“Even in difficult times, this nation has the resources to eliminate hunger. These data show that no community in our state is anywhere close to being hunger-free, and that more must be done to solve this problem,” said Bryant. “It is time for our elected officials to tackle hunger with the zeal that the situation demands.”

The full report is available at www.frac.org

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About This Report

This report is the latest in the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) series of analyses of survey data on food hardship collected by Gallup as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. It provides the most up-to-date examination of the struggle that very large numbers of American households are having affording enough food.

Attorney General Zoeller Kicks off the 2012 March Against Hunger Food Drive

Attorney General Greg Zoeller has joined forces once again with the Indiana State Bar Association and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) for the fourth annual March Against Hunger food drive.

March Against Hunger is a friendly competition between law firms to raise the most donations – either of non perishable foods or direct monetary contributions – for Indiana’s 11 regional food banks.

“Food banks across the state have been struggling to keep up with the needs of the hungry that have increased due to the long recession,” Zoeller said. “For the fourth year, I am calling upon the members of my profession to step up and do what attorneys do best – serve the interests of others. This is no time to let up so I’m doubling our efforts to include four weeks instead of two as in years past. I’ve been very proud of the past support by the many members of the Indiana State Bar Association and I hope for greater support this year to meet the greater need.”

In 2011, 50 law firms in Indiana and Kentucky participated in the March Against Hunger and raised more than 6,000 pounds of food and $27,574 – which combined is the equivalent of 143,986 pounds (or 72 tons) of assistance.

Zoeller presented the 2011 Attorney General’s Cup to the biggest donating firms in four categories.

  • Barnes & Thornburg – Large firm
  • Fleschner Stark Tanoos & Newlin in Terre Haute – Medium firm
  • Tuesley Hall Konopa – South Bend – Small firm
  • Department of Justice/Office of the US Trustee in Indianapolis – Public/Nonprofit
The categories for the 2012 March Against Hunger are:
  •  Large firm (50+)
  •  Medium (10-49)
  •  Small and solo practitioner (1-9)
  •  Public/Nonprofit
The Attorney General’s Cup will once again be presented to the firm collecting the most donations in each division. This year’s campaign will run March 1-31. Law firms can sign up to participate any time before or during the March Against Hunger. For more information or to sign up, visit the Attorney General’s website: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2773.htm