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Category: Child Hunger (page 1 of 2)

Survey Finds 20 Percent of Hoosier Households with Children Struggle to Afford Food

New Data Underscore Need to Protect and Improve Federal Nutrition Programs

One in 5 households with children in Indiana reported in surveys covering the 2014–2015 period that they struggled to afford enough food, according to a new report released today by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).

Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit provides data on food hardship — the inability to afford enough food — for the nation, every state, and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

  • Indiana ranked 23 out of 49 states and the District of Columbia, with 19.8 percent of households with children in 2014-2015 reporting they were unable to afford enough food.
  • Louisville/Jefferson County (IN-KY) MSA ranked 11 out of 100 with a food hardship rate of 24.4 percent for households with children in 2014-2015.
  • Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson MSA ranked 46 out of 100 with a food hardship rate of 19.9 percent for households with children in 2014-2015.
  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI MSA ranked 63 out of 100 with a food hardship rate of 18.4 percent for households with children in 2014-2015.
  • Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN MSA ranked 90 out of 100 with a food hardship rate of 14.9percent for households with children in 2014-2015.

Nationally, the food hardship rate for households with children (19.2 percent) was substantially higher than the food hardship rate for households without children (14.2 percent).

“Too many children across our state, and the nation, are missing out on the nutrition they need for their healthy growth and development,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “This is unacceptable when there are solutions to end hunger now.”

Research shows that participation in federal nutrition programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and meals provided during child care, school, afterschool, and summer, mitigate hunger and supports children’s health and learning.

“We urge Congress to do right by their constituents and protect and strengthen federal nutrition programs,” added Bryant. “With political will, we can ensure all children have the nutrition they need for their health and learning.”

Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit contains data throughout 2014 and 2015 for 49 states and 100 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas (MSAs). The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, which has been interviewing hundreds of households annually since January 2008. FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” A “yes” answer to this question is considered to signal that the household experienced food hardship.

The full report is available at www.frac.org

Editor’s Note: Maine rates were excluded from this report due to anomalies in the Gallup polling data in that state.

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. In its A Plan of Action to End Hunger in America, FRAC recommends a policy path for the nation to reduce the suffering and unnecessary costs caused by struggles with hunger, poverty, and reduced opportunity. Follow FRAC on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer Meals Closing the Hunger Gap for Children in Indiana

Less than one in six low-income children in Indiana who needs summer meals is receiving them, according to a national report, Hunger Doesn’t Take A Vacation, released today by the Food Research & Action Center. In July 2015, 78,858 low-income children received summer meals in Indiana, a decrease of 7.5 percent from the previous summer. The Child Nutrition

Reauthorization currently being considered by Congress provides an important opportunity to invest in the Summer Nutrition Programs so that more children return to school in the fall, well-nourished and ready to learn.

“It’s troubling to see that a growing number of children across our state are still missing out on the benefits of summer nutrition programs,” said Emily Weikert Bryant of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “We are working to reverse this trend this summer by engaging in aggressive outreach to raise awareness of summer meals with the Indiana Department of Education and many nonprofit and local partners across the state. The Summer Nutrition Programs can make a huge difference for the hundreds of thousands of children in our state whose families struggle to afford enough food.”

The report is an annual analysis of data that measures the success of Summer Nutrition Programs at the national and state levels by comparing the number of children receiving summer meals to the number of low-income children receiving free or reduced-price school lunches during the regular school year. The school lunch data are a good proxy number for the extent of need in each state. By this measure, 18.4 low-income children in Indiana ate summer meals for every 100 who ate school lunch during the regular school year. Nationally, the ratio was 15.8:100, down from last year’s ratio of 16.2:100.

There is still much room for improvement in Indiana. Low participation means missed meals for children and missed dollars for the state. If Indiana had reached 40 children with summer food for every 100 low-income children who get school lunch during the regular school year, Indiana would have fed an additional 92,924 low-income children every day in July 2015 and brought in $7,334,032 more federal dollars to do so.

“Greater participation in summer food means more low-income children get the fuel they need to thrive over the summer months,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “That reduces hunger, boosts health, reduces obesity, and keeps children primed to learn. Congress can better meet the need through the pending Child Nutrition Reauthorization by making strategic and thoughtful investments in the Summer Nutrition Programs that bolster their capacity to serve even more children.”

The Summer Nutrition Programs, which include the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program in the summer months, should be filling the food gap for the thousands of low-income Hoosier children who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the school year to help keep hunger at bay. These programs provide free meals at participating summer sites at schools, parks, other public agencies, and nonprofits for children under 18. Not only do children benefit from the free meals, but they also benefit from the enrichment activities that keep them learning and engaged. The best way to meet children’s needs over the summer is with healthy meals that are served in positive community environments while the children’s parents are working.

Hoosier families can find nearby summer meal sites at http://www.doe.in.gov/nutrition/sfsp-parents-page, by calling 211 or texting FOOD to 877-877.

About the report:

Data for Indiana come from the June 2016 version of the annual report released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the lead advocacy organization working to end hunger in America through stronger public policies. The FRAC report, Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, gives 2014 and 2015 data for every state and looks at national and state trends. FRAC measures summer participation during the month of July, when typically almost all children are out of school throughout the month and lose access to regular school year meals. The report is available online at www.frac.org.

Indiana Works to Reach More Kids Who Need School Breakfast

PHOTO: According to the Food Research and Action Center, 213,000 Indiana children ate a free school breakfast last year, less than half of those who participated in the federal School Lunch Program. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

PHOTO: According to the Food Research and Action Center, 213,000 Indiana children ate a free school breakfast last year, less than half of those who participated in the federal School Lunch Program. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana schools have been working to ensure that all children, especially those who are low-income, start their day with a healthy breakfast. But a new report shows there is room for improvement.

The Food Research and Action Center found that less than half of the students who participated in federally funded school lunch programs also took part in the School Breakfast program. Lindsey Hill, president of the Indiana School Nutrition Association, said schools are trying to boost those numbers by offering breakfast outside of the cafeteria setting.

“Breakfast is actually delivered to the classroom in the mornings, and it’s a part of their day,” she said. “Other schools have done grab-and-go breakfasts where the breakfast is available as students get off the bus and they walk into the school building. It just makes it easier and faster than maybe having to walk down to the cafeteria.”

Indiana is sharing in a recent $5 million grant to rework how school breakfast is delivered, and Hill said school administrators and food-service directors around the state are collaborating to develop new strategies to reach more kids. Indiana ranks 34th nationally for participation in free school breakfast programs.

National implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision, allowing eligible low-income students to feed all students free of charge, began this year. The Indianapolis Public School District is among those offering it, and Hill said it is a good way to start the school day.

“The stigma of breakfast being only something that needy kids get is gone,” she said. “Breakfast in schools is actually something the children want to do because it’s fun and they get to socialize with their friends as well.”

According to the report, school breakfast programs have been linked to improved nutrition, fewer disciplinary problems and fewer missed days of school. Hill said the programs also help students learn better because they are not distracted by an empty stomach.

The School Breakfast Scorecard is online at frac.org.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Announces 2015 Legislative Priorities

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry is committed to enhancing the quality of life for our clients through access to safe, nutritious food and other vital necessities. Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports legislation and administrative policies which recognize the needs of the more than 1.1 million Hoosiers our food banks serve and increase the accessibility of nutritious food options to promote health, educational attainment, and workforce success for those in need.

State Advocacy

  • Continued support for Indiana producers and Indiana food banks.  $1.2 million for Indiana’s food banks to purchase surplus or #2 produce from Hoosier farmers through a Farms to Food Banks program.
  • Continued support for the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund. State funding for the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund covers the cost of processing of donated deer from Hoosier hunters. This venison is donated to Indiana’s food banks and pantries.Indiana_Indianapolis_statehouse_c-3022012-2-1062 (1)
  • Removing barriers to public assistance enrollment and administration to ensure that programs that assist food bank clients are provided to those eligible for the assistance in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.
  • Ensuring adequate funding for health and human services and providing sufficient resources to protect Indiana’s vulnerable populations.

Federal Advocacy

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports federal advocacy priorities that focus on Child Nutrition Reauthorization, with the following policy recommendations consistent with those of Feeding America:

US Capitol

  • Strengthen States’ Ability to Reach Kids During the Summer. Align the area eligibility requirement for summer feeding and educational programs to allow more learning programs to offer meals in the summer. Allow communities to adopt alternate program models in areas where children lack access to a program site to reach more kids, such as waiving the requirement that kids consume meals on site, allowing communities to send meals home with children, or giving families a grocery card to supplement their household food budget.
  • Streamline Regulations for Community Based Providers. Allow nonprofits to operate one child nutrition program year round by eliminating duplicative administrative processes and aligning inconsistent program requirements of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) after school and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during the summer.
  • Allow Flexibility to Better Reach Kids During Weekends. Waive the arbitrary on-site requirement to allow communities to innovate more effective ways to serve kids, such as sending needy children home from school with a backpack of nutritious meals or groceries on Friday afternoons.
  • Leverage Schools Beyond the School Day. Encourage schools to make their facilities available to local nonprofits as a shared community resource would allow communities to nourish more children when school is out. By opening up kitchens, libraries, or playgrounds to community nonprofits, many schools are important partners in feeding children after school, during the summer, and on weekends.
  • Strengthen Access and Quality in School Meal Programs and WIC. Continue to support schools as they strive to improve the nutritional quality of meals, providing support, equipment, and training to meet the guidelines set in the last child nutrition bill. Fewer than half of eligible children ages one to four participate in WIC, and we must ensure families’ access to the important nutrition and health benefits that WIC provides.

2014 Map the Meal Gap Study Uncovers Indiana Food Insecurity Rate

Nation-wide Research Reveals Poverty to be Most Impactful to Consistent Food AccessMTMG_LOGO_4c

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – REVISED April 24, 2014 – Feeding Indiana’s Hungry announced that the annual Map the Meal Gap results released today show that food insecurity continues to remain high in Indiana. According to the newly released data, 15.7 percent of Hoosiers are food insecure–more than one million people–which includes nearly 346,000 children.

Indiana falls around the national average of 15.9 percent food insecurity for all Americans; 21.8 percent of Hoosier children are food insecure compared to 21.6 percent of all American children. Rates reach as high as 19.2 percent of the total population in Marion County and 28.5 percent of children in Fayette County, Indiana’s highest areas of food insecurity. Indiana’s lowest rates occurred in Hamilton County, where 9.8 percent of the total population and 14.3 percent of children are food insecure; however, this still amounts to an estimated 27,130 people and 11,790 children in Hamilton County who don’t know from where or when then their next meal will come.

Map the Meal Gap 2014 is a detailed analysis of food insecurity done by Feeding America and the only study available that provides county–level estimates of food insecurity in the United States. Food insecurity is defined by the USDA as a socioeconomic condition of limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.

“Studies like Map the Meal Gap 2014 allow Indiana’s food banks to continue to evaluate and adjust to the need in individual counties across the state,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “The research data includes weekly food-budget shortfalls, demographics and poverty levels which help us define the social issues plaguing Indiana to work together with state and local leaders to find a solution.”

The information is provided in an interactive map that allows viewers to find out how widespread hunger is in their community. The map can be found at www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap and http://feedingindianashungry.org/resources/map-the-meal-gap/

Other key findings in Indiana:

54 percent of Indiana’s food insecure are likely income eligible for eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other federal nutrition assistance;
31 percent of Indiana’s food insecure have income that falls above all federal nutrition program income eligibility thresholds and would likely be income eligible only for charitable nutrition assistance provided by a food bank, food pantry, or other charitable organization;
71 percent of food insecure Hoosier children live in households likely eligible for federal nutrition assistance like free and reduced price school lunch, school breakfast, and the Summer Food Service Program.
Research for the study was generously supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen.

“Hunger is a pervasive and solvable problem plaguing every corner of America today,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “By continuing to provide extensive and revealing data like the 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, we will be able to tackle these issues head-on and be armed with the information needed to work towards making sure everyone has enough to eat.”

The Map the Meal Gap 2014 analysis was developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen for Feeding America. Food-insecurity rates are based on a state-level model that allows for the population in need of food at the county and congressional district level. Additionally, Feeding America worked in collaboration with Nielsen to arrive at estimates for food-cost variation by county. Results were reviewed by the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group in order to ensure accuracy and promote transparency

A summary of the findings and the full report are available at www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap

One in Four Households with Children in IN Report Inability to Afford Enough Food

Data Also Show Widespread Struggle in Every State and Metropolitan Area, Underscoring Need to Protect Nutrition Safety Net

Indianap101115-FA-FL-200 (2)olis, IN– September 18, 2013 – The recession has meant that high numbers of all types of households have been struggling to purchase adequate food, but households with children suffered extraordinarily high rates, according to a new national report released today. In surveys running for five years through 2012, nearly one in four households with children said they couldn’t consistently afford food, even as the House Majority Leadership is proposing to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by a staggering $40 billion.

Food Hardship 2008-2012: Geography and Household Structure, released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), found that in surveys from 2008-2012, 26.5 percent of households with children in Indiana said there were times in the prior year when they did not have enough money to buy food that they needed for themselves or their family.  17 percent of households without children Indiana said they faced the same struggle.  Indiana is ranked 16th worst in the nation in both categories.

“Given the economic struggles that continue to persist in Indiana, we urge our Hoosier delegation in Congress to reject cuts to SNAP,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.   “Food hardship is far too high for all households in Indiana, and the situation for households with children is far worse. Our Members of Congress need to act on what’s going to help, not hurt struggling families here, and the first step is to pass a Farm Bill that doesn’t cut SNAP.”

This report is consistent with data released by the federal government this month which show how many Americans continue to struggle. Food insecurity data, released by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), show that 13.5 of households in Indiana struggled with hunger during the 2010 to 2012 period. (Those data are not broken down by households with and without children.) And poverty data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed Indiana’s incomes trailed the U.S. average in 2012 by 9 percent, the 12th year in a row Hoosiers’ earnings have lagged behind the average Americans’.

“What these data tell us is that there’s a new reality for too many Hoosiers. Hunger and poverty rates spiked at the beginning of the recession and have stayed high ever since,” said Bryant.  “And the food hardship data reveal the extraordinary frequency of that struggle for households with children who say they can’t afford enough food. Cutting SNAP would worsen an already terrible situation.”

The FRAC analysis examines food hardship rates – the inability to afford enough food – for households with and without children. Data are available for the nation, every state and region, and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), including Indianapolis-Carmel, and the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago MSAs which contain portions of Indiana. Findings for childhood food hardship for surveys from 2008-2012 in these MSAs include:

  • For the Indianapolis-Carmel MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 22.4 percent for households with children (54th in the nation), and 17.1 percent for households without children (20th in the nation).
  • For the Louisville MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 28 percent for households with children (10th in the nation), and 16.5 percent for households without children (30th in the nation).
  • For the Cincinnati MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 22 percent for households with children (57th in the nation), and 15.8 percent for households without children (38th in the nation).
  • For the Chicago MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 21.8 percent for households with children (60th in the nation), and 13.6 percent for households without children (68th in the nation).

The full analysis is available on FRAC’s website (www.frac.org).

About the data

FRAC’s Food Hardship in America series 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 interviewed nearly 1.8 million households between 2008 and 2012. 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?”


New Data Shows More Than 1 Million Hoosiers are at Risk of Hunger

A new study finds that 1,063,990 Hoosiers – including 355,780 children – do not always know where they _DSC2579will find their next meal. In all, 16 percent of the population in Indiana struggle with hunger, according to research released today by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.  For Hoosiers under 18 years old, the food insecurity rate is nearly 23 percent.  These rates remain unchanged from 2011.

The findings are from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, which estimates the rate of food insecurity for both the general population and, separately, for children under the age of 18. The estimates are calculated at both the county and congressional-district level for the entire U.S.  The eleven member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry are all part of the Feeding America network.

“Food insecurity is one of the leading public health challenges in the United States,” said Dr. Craig Gundersen, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, an international food insecurity expert and the lead researcher of the “Map the Meal Gap” study. “We undertook this research to demonstrate the extent and prevalence of food insecurity at both the county and congressional-district level. This data has the potential to redefine the way service providers and policy makers address food insecurity in the communities they serve.”

“We are particularly concerned about children who are under-nourished. A child who does not receive adequate nutrition may experience behavioral problems, have difficulty concentrating in school, and has an increased risk of medical problems. Lack of adequate nutrition in children, for even a brief period of time, may also cause permanent physical and developmental impairments,” Gundersen said.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million people nationwide are food insecure.

By analyzing household income levels, the study reveals that 69 percent of children at risk of hunger in Indiana are eligible for federal nutrition programs, like free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast; but that 31 percent are not.

“This data provides specific numbers of Hoosiers at risk of hunger, rather than just an abstraction of percentages,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “It tells us that one in six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and for children it’s just one in four.  These numbers show that hunger is a reality in every county and community of our state.  Hunger is much closer to each and every Hoosier than they may realize.  No Hoosier should ever have to worry about where they will find their next meal.”

“Map the Meal Gap 2013” also shows:

  • The cost of an average meal in Indiana. Here in Indiana, the cost of an average meal is $2.33.
  • The cost of an average meal in Indiana relative to the national average. Here in Indiana, the cost of a meal is 34 cents lower than the national average of $2.67.
  • The annual food budget shortfall in Indiana, meaning the amount of additional money that food-insecure individuals in the area said they would need to put enough food on the table for an adequate diet. In Indiana, the total number is $173,459,592.

This is the third year that Feeding America has conducted the “Map the Meal Gap” study. The findings of “Map the Meal Gap” are based on statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; food price data and analysis were provided by Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), a global information and measurement company providing insights into what consumers watch and buy. The study was generously supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Nielsen and The ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Prior to the study’s first release in March 2011, food insecurity data was only available at the state level in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report. The study further analyzes each county’s food insecure population to determine their income eligibility for federal nutrition assistance, and also provides meal cost estimates for every county in the nation.


Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

This month, children across Indiana begin summer vacation. While summer vacation is considered to be freedom for many children, for the one in four Hoosier children facing hunger it means losing the one place that they can count on for a meal.
For most of the country, the face of hunger is surprising. It does not discriminate against age, race, gender, or ethnicity. It affects working families who are forced to make difficult choices between food and basic necessities such as heat, medicine or rent. This school year, more than one million Hoosier children relied on free or reduced-priced school meals throughout the academic year. Consequently, their families may be left struggling to find a way to keep these children fed when these programs end and summer vacation begins.

The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides low-income children with free, nutritious meals during the summer months when school is not in session, is intended to fill this gap. SFSP is the single largest federal resource available for local community organizations that want to combine a feeding program with a summer activity program. Several member food banks and hundreds of their affiliated agencies are some of the many organizations that sponsor or host a summer feeding program site.
However, the Summer Food Service Program continues to be underutilized. Sponsors are needed to help coordinate the program, and agencies are needed to host feeding sites and encourage families to bring their children. But one of the biggest reasons that the SFSP is underutilized is that families do not know that it is available for their children. Help is needed in raising awareness of this important program.You can check out the Indiana Department of Education’s interactive SFSP site map at http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/nutrition, or call 211 to learn where sites are in your community. Help us get the word out about this program and increase participation in Indiana. Together, we can ensure that all children have access to healthy meals this summer.


New Report: 1 in 4 Hoosier Children At Risk of Hunger, in Every County in the State

June 5, 2012 – A new study released yesterday by Feeding America shows that children continue to struggle with hunger in every county in the nation with nearly one in four in Indiana at risk of going hungry.

The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2012” gives a one-of-kind look at the occurrence of children living on the brink of hunger in the U.S. at a county and congressional district level. The report includes an interactive map that gives users the ability to look at the specifics of food insecurity in any county in the US.

In Indiana, the report finds that 22.7 percent, or an estimated 358,120 Hoosier children may not know from where their next meal will come. Individual Indiana counties ranged from 26.9 percent in Miami and Starke Counties, to 14.5 percent in Hamilton County.

The report also found that of the food insecure kids in Indiana, about thirty percent may not be eligible for federal nutrition programs like free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast.

“As summer begins and Hoosier kids do not have access to school meals, we must take this information as a call to action. It is unacceptable for nearly a quarter of all children to be at risk of hunger in Indiana,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Families at risk can call 2-1-1 to be connected to emergency food services, including locations for kids’ meals through the summer food service program.  Those more fortunate can donate food, funds, or time to local food banks and pantries to do what we can to help those in need.  There is no reason any child should be faced with the grim option of going without meals.”

By providing the information at a county level, agencies and civic leaders are able to assess where the need is greatest to help feed the more 16 million children nationwide who are at risk of hunger. In Indiana, the member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry provided nearly 66.4 million pounds of food and groceries through the network of eleven member food banks that serve about 1,700 food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens.  All member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry are part of the the Feeding America network, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization.

The ConAgra Foods Foundation funded this research with the goal of advancing the collective understanding of child hunger in America, so that resources at the local and national level could be better leveraged to help children and families in need. The research is based on “Map the Meal Gap 2012: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level”, supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen.

An executive summary of the report and interactive map can be found at: feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.

*“Food Insecurity” is a phrase used by the USDA to describe lack of consistent access to adequate amounts of food for an active, healthy life.

Sponsor Organizations Needed for Summer Food Service Program

It’s that time of year!  It’s (unseasonably!) warmer, and kids all around Indiana are beginning to think about summer vacation. Except maybe the nearly 47% of Hoosier kids who receive free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program–more than one million kids statewide.  Where do they go to get a nutritious meal in the summer?

With help from sponsor organizations and the Indiana Department of Education, kids can receive free meals and snacks at locations in the community through the federal Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).  Last year, the SFSP provided over 2.8 million free meals and snacks to low-income Hoosier children with the help of more than 248 sponsors.

But there still are not enough cites to meet the needs across the state.  There are no programs at all in 20 Indiana counties.

Do you work with a camp, a school, a park, organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs or YMCAs, local government or private non-profits?  You can help!

The Indiana Department of Education will host training workshops for sponsors around the state.  For additional information or to attend a workshop, please contact Marcia Yurczyk or Tina Skinner at the Indiana Department of Education.  They can be reached by phone at 317-232-0852 or 317-232-0858, or emailed at myurczyk@doe.in.gov or tskinner@doe.in.gov.  The application deadline to become a SFSP sponsor is the end of April.