Our mission: The mission of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is to bring together the public and private sectors to effectively utilize Indiana’s resources to feed hungry Hoosiers. Feeding Indiana’s Hungry represents 11 member food banks which are members of Feeding America, the nation’s largest charitable hunger relief organization. Our member food banks provide food to 1,700 nonprofit member agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other organizations that provide direct food assistance to hungry Hoosiers in all ninety-two (92) counties throughout the State. In 2011 our member food banks distributed 66.4 million pounds of food and grocery products, most of which would have otherwise been sent to landfills as waste. Our member food banks also serve the State by handling and distributing USDA commodity food for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Who we serve: Feeding Indiana’s Hungry member food banks serve Hoosiers who are experiencing hunger or are food insecure, which means that they lack consistent access to a nutritious, well-balanced diet. These are individuals, families, children, older adults, the ill, infants as well as people and families facing special challenges. Many of these Hoosiers have little or no social safety net primarily because they are the “working poor” – people who are employed but often still need help to feed themselves and their families. If their income reaches or exceeds 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is a gross annual income of $42,643, they are no longer eligible for many public assistance programs. In Indiana, 33 percent of the state’s food insecure live above this income level and look to the charitable sector for food assistance.
More than one million Hoosiers are at the risk of hunger every day.
According to the 2010 Hunger in America report for Indiana we know:
- 25% of our adult clients are working in full or part-time jobs
- 33% of our clients report employment as the household’s primary source of income
- 46% of our clients have to choose between food and paying for their utility bills
- 36% of our clients choose between food and medicine, including older adults
- Only 37% receive some level of SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) assistance
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports legislation and administrative policies which recognize the needs of hungry Hoosiers and increases the accessibility of nutritious food, especially those products grown, processed or packaged in Indiana, to promote their health, educational attainment, and workforce success.
To this end, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports measures that will:
- Increase state funding for Indiana’s member food banks to better work with Indiana farmers, producers, processors and packers as a first source of food and ensure adequate infrastructure to get that food to Hoosiers at risk of hunger.
- Continue support for USDA’s The Emergency Food Assistance Program, a federal nutrition program that provides a significant amount of food for our member food banks for distribution.
- Provide additional state support for the acquisition of emergency food to be distributed by member food banks, including the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund program for wild game processing.
- Support programs such as the Neighborhood Assistance Program credits which enable our member food banks to raise additional private dollars in support of our hunger relief missions.
- Ensure adequate compensation for member food banks and their network of member agencies for the cost of handling and administering programs that assist vulnerable Hoosiers.
- Support more cost effective and efficient means to remove barriers to public assistance program enrollment and administration which provide eligible Hoosiers with food and basic assistance needs.