Category Archives: FIsH

Summer Meals Reaching 1 in 6 Low-Income Children in Indiana

A new report finds that participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs increased in Indiana, with almost 76,000 low-income children receiving summer meals on an average day in July 2013. This was a significant increase of twenty-three percent from the previous July.  The new data noted that summer meals reached 18 students for every 100 low-income children who got regular school year school meals in the 2012-2013 school year, better than the national rate.

 Not for Corporate Use. Girls standing next to each other, eating bananas.
The report, Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, is released annually by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). It 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 school lunch during the regular school year.

The FRAC report finds that summer meal participation nationally reached nearly three million students on an average day in July of 2013, up 161,000 children or 5.7 percent from July 2012.  This represents the first considerable increase in participation in a decade, providing welcome momentum for the Summer Nutrition Programs.

“When the school year ends, millions of low-income children lose access to school meals, including about 348,000 Hoosier students. It is in our best interest to ensure that such children have adequate nutrition during the summer so they stay healthy, active and return to school in the fall ready to learn,” said Emily Weikert Bryant of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

While participation increased in Indiana and nationally, there is still room for improvement. Low participation means missed meals for children and missed dollars for the state. If Indiana were to reach 40 children with summer food for every 100 low-income children who get school lunch during the regular school year, an additional 94,000 low-income Hoosier children would have been fed every day in July 2013 and the Summer Nutrition Programs would have provided $7 million more federal dollars to do so.

It’s not too late to make a difference this summer. State and community leaders can follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has launched an aggressive campaign to increase participation. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program Week (June 2 to 6, 2014) is this week, and aims to raise awareness of the program.

“The national increase in summer food participation is good news, but Congress will need to fix some of the underlying barriers in the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization to truly repair the Summer Nutrition Programs,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Congress needs to act to strengthen the programs so they are able to reach more low-income children, and help the program more effectively address hunger and meet increased need.”

The Summer Nutrition Programs, which include the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, 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.

Hoosier families can find nearby summer meal sites at the Indiana Department of Education’s website here: http://scnweb.doe.state.in.us/external_forms/2014_SFSP_Feeding_Sites_All_Indiana.pdfor by calling 2-1-1.  New this year from USDA is “SummerFoodRocks,” a free web-based application that features a site locator and search tool, and works on devices such as iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys, and Androids. Visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks to locate nearby summer meal site near you. This app is available nationwide.

About the report: 
Data for Indiana come from the 2014 version of the annual report released by the Food Research and 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 data for all states and looks at national and state trends. FRAC measures national summer participation during the month of July, when typically 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.

Senior Hunger a Focus for Older Americans Month

1 in 4 IN Senior Food Bank Clients Choose Between Food and Medical Care       _DSC2135

Millions of Americans work in low-wage jobs, living from paycheck to paycheck, saving little if any money for their retirement. Most low-wage jobs offer little in the way of pensions or 401(K) plans so after a lifetime of hard work, social security checks may be these workers’ only source of income.

“There are seniors across the state at community soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters who are attempting to live during what should be their golden years on social security checks of $700 a month or less,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “Due to the tough economic climate, this is now a reality for even more younger working seniors as they find themselves unemployed or underemployed.”

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry member food banks feed more than 38,000 Hoosier seniors each year. Food insecurity– not having access to enough food for an active or healthy life – affects nearly 16 percent of all Hoosiers, including these seniors facing difficulty keeping themselves fed.

According to the study Hunger in America 2010, older workers experienced longer than average periods of unemployment and now have less income to spend on necessities as a result of missing out on potential wages, prematurely tapping into social security, or finding themselves with reduced wages after regaining employment.   In fact, 25 percent of Hoosier households with seniors who rely on our local food pantries for help have had to choose between spending money on food and paying for medical care.

These realities are especially troublesome knowing that food insecurity, while it affects people of all ages is particularly detrimental to seniors because of their unique nutritional needs related to aging and/or their medical conditions.

A recent report, Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans, found that when compared to food-secure seniors, food-insecure seniors are more likely to have a lower nutrient intake and to be at a higher risk for chronic health conditions and depression.

“Assuring proper nutrition and adequate caloric intake in older adults is an important piece of the puzzle to preventing avoidable hospital and nursing facility admissions,” said Kristen LaEace, CEO of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging.  “In addition to simply being the right thing to do, investment in the nutritional health of seniors up front helps prevent more expensive uses of Medicare and Medicaid services down the road.  It’s a sound investment for tax payers to make.”

To avoid making difficult decisions between food and healthcare, seniors at risk of hunger often depend on local food pantries for help. Among food pantry clients 65 and older, more than half reported visiting a pantry on a monthly basis, the highest of any age group.

Our member food banks rely on generous private donations as well as federal programs like the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which supplies nutritious monthly food packages to 3,645 low-income Hoosier seniors. Connecting seniors to other programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps ensure they have groceries to last them through the month so they don’t have to choose between filling prescriptions or filling their pantries. Many food banks also operate senior grocery programs or mobile pantries to get food to those seniors that need it most.

Feeding America is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the country. Through its network of more than 200 member food banks, Feeding America serves 37 million people in need annually, including nearly three million seniors.  With widespread community support, we and our member food banks are working with Feeding America to ensure that vulnerable seniors are provided with much-needed nutritious food. However, charity alone cannot solve senior hunger in our community.

As Congress allocates funding for fiscal year 2015, it’s important that they continue to provide nutrition assistance for low-income seniors at risk through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This program must be funded each year through the annual federal appropriations process. Without sufficient funds to serve all eligible seniors in the state, our charities would not have the necessary support to safeguard local seniors from hunger.

To find out how you can join the fight against hunger, please visit feedingindianashungry.org.  Together, we can provide hope to seniors and families in need.

About Feeding Indiana’s Hungry
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks.  Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

About the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, founded in 1978, advocates for quality programs and services for older adults and all persons with disabilities. The IAAAA works with Indiana’s 16 Area Agencies on Aging. The Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) were designated by state statute in 1973 to deliver services under the Older Americans Act. AAAs are not-for-profit entities providing services to older adults and people with disabilities of any age and their caregivers.

“Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive Set for May 10th

Letter Carriers Union and food banks join forces for 22nd annual food driveSAH

INDIANAPOLIS ― Letter Carriers from across Indiana will help to Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday May 10th, as a part of their 22nd annual food drive benefiting the state’s food banks.

In its 22nd year, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive benefits local food banks and shelters through a partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Last year, letter carriers collected more than 74 million pounds of food feeding an estimated 30 million people nationally. Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected more than one billion pounds of food.

“Our letter carriers are on the streets and in the community every day and they see firsthand how families are struggling to put food on the table,” said John Tripplett, president of  the Indiana NALC, “These are not only our customers, they are our neighbors and friends, and we are proud to help in this worthy effort.”

The need for food donations is urgent. In Indiana, more than 1 million Hoosiers are unsure of where their next meal is coming from and nearly 346,000 children, while nationally 49 million Americans—1 in 6—are food insecure.

“The timing of this food drive is crucial,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “Food banks and pantries receive many donations during the holiday season. By spring, supplies begin to run low at a time when we need to gear up for summer, when children don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch programs and may not access summer feeding programs.”

To participate in the 22nd Stamp Out Hunger food drive in Indiana, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 10. Hoosier letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and take them to regional food banks and emergency food relief agencies.

Feeding America provides food assistance to 37 million Americans every year. According to Feeding America, one in eight Americans rely on the organization for food and groceries, and the organization distributes 3 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.  Member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. distributed 80 million pounds of food in 2013 through nearly 1,700 agencies across Indiana.

For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, visitwww.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, and follow the drive atwww.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.

Member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry receiving food from the Stamp Out Hunger drive are:

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

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About the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
The 280,000-member NALC represents letter carriers across the country employed by the U.S. Postal Service, along with retired letter carriers. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.

About Feeding America 
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger.

About Feeding Indiana’s Hungry
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks.  Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

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

Honoring Volunteers Who Feed Hoosiers in Need

A volunteer helps at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

A volunteer helps at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

This week, April 6-12, marks National Volunteer Week, recognizing the millions of volunteers who devote their time and efforts to making a difference in the lives of others across America. Feeding Indiana’s Hungry honors the thousands of volunteers that help those at risk of hunger across Indiana.

16 percent of Hoosiers are food insecure, which means they don’t always know where they will find their next meal.  This equates to more than one million Hoosiers who are in need of assistance from the 11 member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and the nearly 1,700 local agencies served by the food banks, including soup kitchens, pantries, after school programs, senior programs, and others.

Volunteer are the backbone of the anti-hunger community. According to Hunger in America 2010: Indiana State Report, 72 percent of food pantries and 52 percent of soup kitchens served by the Feeding Indiana’s Hungry network report relying entirely on volunteers and have no paid staff.  Thousands of Hoosiers volunteer each year at the member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. In addition to helping member food banks save time and labor costs, volunteerism helps raise awareness of hunger in America and promotes community involvement in solving the problem.

“Volunteer support is crucial to helping our member food banks serve those at risk of hunger in Indiana,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Without the help of volunteers, many more would be in search of a meal because the more than 80 million pounds distributed by the network in Indiana last year would not all have made it to those in need.  Hoosiers can help alleviate hunger by contacting their regional food bank for volunteer opportunities in their communities and neighborhoods.  Help is always needed and tremendously appreciated.”

Ways you can help end hunger:

  • Volunteer Your Time
    Volunteer an hour once a week, once a month or once a year.
  • Food Drives
    Organize a work place, club or church food drive
  • Plant-A-Row
    Plant a row of fruits and vegetables in your garden and donate the harvest to your local food bank.

Walmart Foundation Contributes $46,822 to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry to Assist with Hunger Relief Efforts

 Donation to increase access to food, perishable items throughout Indiana

Walmart Foundation Check Presentation 2014Indianapolis, Indiana, March 11, 2014 – Feeding Indiana’s Hungry received two grants totaling $46,822 from the Walmart Foundation to assist with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach and perishable product distribution. The grants – which were given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – helped spread information about SNAP to staff and volunteers of hundreds of food pantries who work with member food banks.  The contribution has also helped the network of food banks expand the distribution of perishable products through helping fund an AmeriCorps VISTA position and through smaller direct grants to member food banks for equipment to keep perishable items properly stored for distribution.

“At a time when too many Hoosiers are struggling to feed their families, I’m pleased to see two organizations in Indiana — Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and Walmart — working together to help those in need,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. “The business community is an important partner in Indiana hunger relief efforts, and this grant will mean more food can reach children and families.”

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry is the state association of food banks affiliated with Feeding America, the nation’s largest food bank network. Collectively, these 11 member food banks serve all 92 counties in Indiana. Their member food banks solicited, warehoused, transported and distributed more than 80 million pounds of food in 2013 through more than 1,700 local pantries, soup kitchens, after school programs, and other food assistance programs.

“Sen. Donnelly and Walmart have been great partners of the anti-hunger community,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “The funding we received has helped us get more food to our clients, through the SNAP program and through the charitable sector, aiding the more than one million Hoosiers who are at risk of hunger to feed their families.”

The contributions to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry were made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Indiana State Giving Program (SGP) and the Indiana Associate Choice Program. Through these programs, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award contributions that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are very pleased to be supporting Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, and are committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve,” said Regional General Manager David Reitnauer. “Through this contribution, we are hopeful that the one in six Hoosiers at risk of hunger—and one in four Hoosier children—have improved access to perishable foods like dairy products, produce, and meat.”

Last year, the Indiana State Giving Program awarded more than $800,000 to local organizations such as Blessing in a Backpack, Inc., Media Ministries, Inc., The Salvation Army, West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc., Women’s Bureau, Inc.  In Indiana, a team of local associates determines needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application.  Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria.  Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at http://foundation.walmart.com/apply-for-grants/state-giving.

In 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. This includes $1 billion in cash and in-kind gifts in the United States and $82.2 million in cash and in-kind gifts in international markets. In addition, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Logistics associates volunteered more than 2.2 million hours, generating $18 million to U.S. nonprofits.

About Feeding Indiana’s Hungry
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks.  Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

www.feedingindianashungry.org

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.

 

 

Hoosier SNAP Recipients Will See Decreased Benefits November 1

Hunger relief advocates are spreading the word that the increased benefits to recipients in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will expire on November 1, 2013.

SNAP recipients will initially see benefits increase slightly for most households on October 1 to reflect the annual cost of living adjustment.  But on November 1, recipients will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 law.

These changes are not a result of the current federal government shutdown.

Indiana’s Family & Social Services Agency (FSSA) will communicate benefit changes directly with SNAP recipients prior to the November decrease.  But hunger relief advocates want to ensure that SNAP clients are informed and prepared well ahead of these changes.

“Beginning November 1, the more than 925,000 Hoosiers receiving SNAP will see a decrease in the monthly benefits that for a family of four will be up to $36 per month,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “$36 means several days’ worth of food for a struggling family.  Clients already have a difficult time putting enough food on their tables and paying their bills even with SNAP benefits.  We hope that by spreading the word early, clients can prepare themselves as best as possible and local food pantries can proactively gear up for increased client traffic.”

The eleven regional member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry distributed 73.7 million pounds of food in 2012 with the help of food and fund donations from retailers, manufacturers, private and foundation donors, and commodity food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  But the state impact of SNAP ARRA cuts will be a loss of $98 million worth of food over the next year.

“We hope that Hoosiers statewide will also come to the aid of our friends, neighbors, and family that will be impacted by the loss of food assistance in November by donating food, funds, or time to regional food banks or local pantries to ensure that more food is available to those in need,” said Bryant.

The new SNAP maximum monthly benefit levels will change with the October cost of living adjustments and November cuts as follows:

SNAP Maximum Monthly Benefit Levels

Household Size

October 1, 2013

 

November 1, 2013

 

Difference

1

$200

$189

-$11

2

$367

$347

-$20

3

$526

$497

-$29

4

$668

$632

-$36

5

$793

$750

-$43

6

$952

$900

-$52

7

$1,052

$995

-$57

8

$1,202

$1,137

-$65

Each additional

person

$150

$142

-$8

 

Hoosiers wishing to find out their SNAP balance can call 877-768-5098, look at their last grocery receipt, or check the balance online https://www.ebtaccount.jpmorgan.com/

It is also important to ensure that Hoosier SNAP clients are claiming all of the deductions for which they qualify to receive the benefits for which they are eligible.  This includes accounting for medical expenses for seniors 60 years or older and dependent care expenses for children under 18 or other dependents.

If you need food right away, contact your regional food bank, which can be located through FeedingAmerica.org or Feedingindianashungry.org, or call 211 anywhere in Indiana at any time to be connected to a trained human service professional and ask for the nearest food pantry or food distribution site.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides several resources to help people eat healthy meals on a low budget including:

The USDA Recipe Box (http://www.fns.usda.gov/fncs-recipe-box) helps people find healthy low cost recipes and create cookbooks and shopping lists.

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

Indianapolis, 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 Indiana 12th in the US for Those Most at Risk of Hunger

For immediate release
Media contact: Emily Weikert Bryant, 317.452.9829

Indianapolis, September 4, 2013 — New data released today by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that 49 million people (including 6 million children) are food insecure in the United States.

In Indiana, 13.5 percent of Hoosier households remain food insecure – meaning roughly 1 in 7 households had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough nutritious food for their family. Prevalence of food insecurity in Indiana has risen in recent USDA reports, particularly with the very low food insecure–those who report reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns–rising to 6.3 percent in this report from 4.8 percent in the previous three year average, ranking Indiana 12th in the nation.  This updated data comes as the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider a bill this month with a $40 billion cut to federal food assistance.

“When it comes to food insecurity rates, any number is too high,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Our Indiana network of food banks distributed 73.7 million pounds of food last year—about 61 million meals—to Hoosiers at risk of hunger.  But charity alone cannot solve the problem of hunger that we know exists in every county in our state.  It’s because of numbers like these that we need to maintain strong federal and charitable food assistance to get enough food to those in need. This means strengthening and protecting federal nutrition programs.”

The proposed $40 billion SNAP cut in the House bill would result in millions of Americans seeing their food assistance reduced or lost entirely, resulting in over 15 billion lost meals for struggling families over the next ten years according to Feeding America estimates. If divided evenly across Feeding America’s national network of food banks, every food bank would have to provide an additional 7.5 million meals each year for the next ten years. These cuts would come on top of benefit reductions for all SNAP recipients that will take effect on November 1st and will average about $36 per month for a family of four.

“With so many of our neighbors, friends and family worrying about where the next meal is coming from, now is not the time to cut federal nutrition programs,” said Bryant. “These programs are critical to meeting the current need. Many of our food banks are already stretched thin in the wake of the recession, and charity cannot make up for the billions of lost meals resulting from such cuts. We urge Congress to protect programs that help struggling families put food in their pantries.”

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About Feeding Indiana’s Hungry
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks.  Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

 

About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger.

September is Hunger Action Month

More than 50 million people in the US face hunger;
wear orange to show your support on Sept.5

Hunger advocates from Indiana and across the country will be wearing orange on Sept. 5 in an effort to raise awareness of the more than 50 million people in the US who face hunger. It’s just one of the many awareness events taking place throughout the month of September in recognition of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month – a month-long campaign to help end hunger in our country.

Staring Sept. 1, the regional food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and other food banks in the Feeding America network, will kick off Hunger Action Month by holding events throughout the country to inspire people to take action to help the millions of people who are food insecure in the United States.

Indiana events include galas, Civic Food Fights, hunger roundtable discussions, motorcycle rides, zombie walks, food drives, and volunteer opportunities at every food bank in our network. Thousands of volunteers are expected to participate in food bank activities throughout the US.

“Every day in Indiana, many Hoosiers struggle to put food on the table,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “Hunger Action Month calls us to do something about it. Whether it’s something easy like wearing orange or changing a Facebook profile, something hands on like volunteering at a food bank or pantry, or something difficult and moving like a SNAP challenge, we ask every Hoosier to stop and think at least once this month about the one in six Hoosiers, and one in four Hoosier children, who don’t know how they’ll get their next meal.”

Here in Indiana, about 16 percent of the population struggles with hunger, including 355,780 children. Overall, more than one million Hoosiers lack access at times to enough food for an active and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a shame that in the ‘land of plenty’ we have neighbors and friends who have to worry about where they will get their next meal,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “By raising awareness and working together, we can solve hunger.”

Events taking place across the country include:

  • Hunger Action Day – wear orange to support hunger awareness (Sept. 5)
  • Light up for hunger. Buildings around the country will be lighting up orange throughout the month to show their support, including Houston’s City Hall, Chase Tower in Phoenix, and Sundance Square in Ft. Worth, TX.
  • Jeff Gordon’s race car will display a “Hunger Action Month” sticker on it during a nationally broadcast (ABC-TV) race at the Richmond International Raceway, thanks to a partnership with AARP Foundation. (Sept. 7)

To learn more about Hunger Action Month and events in your area, please visit www.hungeractionmonth.org.