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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


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