Feeding Indiana's Hungry

Indiana's State Association of Food Banks

Menu Close

Category: Indiana Agriculture (page 1 of 2)

Farmers are Feeding Us. No Exceptions.

Emily Weikert Bryant is the Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.

On Tuesday, we celebrated National Agriculture Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Our association of food banks and its members is indebted to Hoosier agriculture as donors, partners and producers who supply what no Hoosier should have to go without – food.

Over my years of working with Indiana’s farmers, I’ve had the opportunity to tell many of them what our food banks and pantries do to help Indiana’s hungry. To a one, every farmer has told me in response that they donate to their regional food bank through programs such as the Million Meals pork purchase program with Indiana Pork.

They also work with their county Farm Bureau to supply food or funds to local organizations, provide nonperishable items for their church pantry or take extra produce from the garden to neighbors who need help. Hoosier farmers understand that they’re part of the collective agriculture community that is feeding the world – no exceptions.

For all Hoosiers, including those who get help from a USDA nutrition program, food bank or pantry, the bulk of what nourishes them comes from the grocery store and, before that, a farm. Thanks in large part to increased efficiency and productivity on U.S. farms, Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable and safe. On average, American households spend just 6.4 percent of their annual income on food – the lowest percentage in the world.

For the nearly 1 million Hoosiers at risk of hunger, our member food banks work diligently to provide access to protein, dairy and produce through the charitable distribution that provided more than 63 million meals across Indiana last year through 11 food banks and more than 1,800 local points for distribution.

These meals come from partners and donors in retail, the USDA and some straight from farmers. But the meals the charitable sector provides are stopgap measures, a finger in the dike for many families.

As the year progresses and Congress begins more discussion and debate on the farm bill, we look forward to continued collaboration with Indiana’s agriculture organizations and our Hoosier delegation in Congress for a strong farm bill for all involved to ensure that fewer and fewer Hoosiers go hungry.

Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry

As published in the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, March 22, 2018

2017 State Legislative Agenda Gaining Momentum

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. One in six Hoosiers is food insecure. Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports legislation and administrative policies which recognize the needs of the more than 1.1 million Hoosiers Indiana food banks serve and increase the accessibility of nutritious food options to promote health, educational attainment, and workforce success for those in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports investment in healthy, Hoosier grown food through the Farms to Food Banks program funded through the ISDA.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry asks for $300,000 in year one of the biennial budget and $500,000 in year two, to be spent on Indiana grown and produced food to help Hoosiers at risk of hunger through the food bank network.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports 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. We oppose establishing any additional barriers to public assistance eligibility or access or utilization.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports the removal of a ban on receiving SNAP benefits by individuals with a past felony drug conviction.

Since welfare reform in 1996, individuals convicted of a felony which has as an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance are ineligible for SNAP benefits under federal law unless a state opts out of this requirement. Indiana is one of only 7 states still operating under a lifetime ban, since Texas and Alabama altered state public policies in 2015 and Georgia and Alaska followed in 2016.

Additionally, SNAP bans do not apply to any other types of felony convictions. Because women are the primary recipients of SNAP and women of color are more likely to get caught up in the racial disparities of the criminal justice system, the bans disproportionally affect children of color and their mothers.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports the elimination of state SNAP asset limits through the enforcement of broad-based categorical eligibility.

In Indiana, a SNAP applicant household must have less than $2250 in assets ($3250 if the household contains a senior or individual with a disability) to be eligible. Assets include bank accounts, cash, real estate, personal property, vehicles not used for household transportation, retirement accounts, health savings accounts, education savings accounts, and individual development accounts. The household’s home and surrounding lot, household goods and personal belongings, defined benefit pensions and life insurance policies are not counted as assets in the SNAP program. Personal savings and assets pull families out of poverty and move them toward self-sufficiency. Asset limits adversely affect the recently unemployed who retain assets that must be spent down and seniors on fixed incomes.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports legislative review on successes of job connection for unemployed SNAP recipients with arbitrary time limits for nutrition benefits.

Since welfare reform in 1996, SNAP requires all recipients who are able to work to by government definition (despite existing physical and mental impediments) do so unless there is an exemption. So-called able bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are financially eligible to receive SNAP benefits must meet special work requirements in addition to the general requirement to maintain eligibility.

ABAWDs can only receive SNAP nutrition assistance for 3 months in 3 years if the special requirements are not met. Outcome reporting from the IMPACT program would enable legislators to review the efficacy of the employment training and job placement program, whether it has assisted recipients to come off the program, and the impact on the charitable sector to provide services for individuals who have become ineligible for nutrition assistance and remain unemployed or underemployed.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports public policy proposals that will bring healthy food options to food insecure Hoosiers.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry supports healthy food financing programs that empower food banks and pantries to build capacity for perishable items.

Food bank clients struggle to afford and access food. 85 percent of food bank client households purchase inexpensive, unhealthy food because they cannot afford healthier options. About a third of households report watering down food or drinks to make what they have last longer, including infant formula. Some grow produce. About two-thirds of client households have received help from family and friends, and more than 40 percent have sold or pawned personal property to do what they can to provide enough food for their families.

Hoosier food bank clients make trade-offs regularly:
• 77% choose between paying for food or utilities;
• 79% between food and transportation;
• 63% between food and housing.

Notably, nearly half of client households have incorporated charitable food assistance into their monthly food budgets. Emergency food assistance programs allow clients to address core food expenses so that limited income can be allocated elsewhere.

Food deserts are a part of the larger problems of hunger and healthy food access.

Food banks have developed innovative strategies to bring fresh produce and other nutritious foods into food deserts which include mobile pantries, trucks that drive out to communities that lack access to traditional food pantries or retail and distribute food. Additionally, there are roughly 1,800 charities already operating around the state that, with a modest grant or loan, could increase cold storage space or purchase mobile refrigeration to provide additional produce to assist Hoosier families.

Indiana State Poultry Association Donates Over 73 Tons to Indiana Food Banks


Source: Indiana State Poultry Association  ISPA

Lt. Governor Sue Ellsperman joined representatives of the Indiana State Poultry Association to celebrate the donation of over 73 tons (146,000 pounds) of poultry products to food banks across Indiana for distribution to hungry Hoosier families today.  This donation of high protein meat and eggs is always appreciated by the food pantries that feed the hungry throughout the state. The current donation alone provides hundreds of thousands of highly nutritious meals to Hoosier families.

Monday’s donation is the continuation of a tradition that has endured for over 68 years. This is a tradition which marks the generosity of Indiana’s poultry producers that the Indiana State Poultry Association and its members plan to continue for many years to come.

Although these producers donate this enormous amount annually for this event, it is only a small portion of the total amount that the poultry industry donates throughout the year.  Over the past twelve months, the Indiana poultry industry has donated over 96,000 dozen eggs, and 250 tons (551,000 pounds) of poultry meat and egg products to local food banks throughout Indiana.  Over the past ten years, the poultry industry has contributed more than a 1.2 pounds, about 600 tons of Indiana poultry products.

The poultry industry knows just how important it is to continually support food banks who sustain individuals and families during their times of need.  Food banks always require help keeping their shelves filled, especially during the holidays.

Members of the Indiana State Poultry Association produce over 95% of Indiana’s chicken, turkey, duck and eggs. Indiana is the number one duck producing state, ranks third in egg production, third in turkey production, and raises millions of broiler chickens each year.  The Indiana poultry industry supports over 7,000 Hoosier jobs, contributing over $4.25 billion dollars annually to Indiana’s economy.


Ugly Produce Becomes a Life Line for Food Banks

What are you doing for Hunger Action Month? Consider supporting farm to food bank programs as they expand across the United States to new heights.

September is Hunger Action Month around the United States, and while many consumers know plenty of grocery stores and food banks that donate for hunger relief, the farm to food bank efforts can also be phenomenal at feeding those in need. As food insecurity has increased in the U.S. in recent years, farm to food bank programs have been expanding around the country to recover hundreds of millions of surplus and so called “ugly” (mishappen but perfectly delicious and nutritious) produce for those in need. There are now more than 10 farm to food bank programs in the U.S., with the newest from Feeding Indiana’s Hungry begining on July 1st.

What is a farm to food bank program? While the programs all have different features and drivers, the main goal is to enable food banks and pantries to pay significantly below market prices for produce surplus and produce seconds, or ugly produce. Produce that would have otherwise gone uneaten, in essence: wasted, due to market conditions or cosmetic standards. And with the large expansion of fresh produce offerings at food banks and pantries in recent years, farm to food bank programs are now more important than ever.

For ugly produce advocates, getting large grocers to sell ugly produce in the U.S. is the number one goal so that massive produce waste is put on notice. However, there is another side to the billions of pounds of ugly and surplus produce that’s going wasted every year, and that is the potential for produce to instead reach those in need. And the best (or worst) part is that there is so much produce wasted that there is more than enough to be sold in most grocery stores and reach most food banks and pantries in large quantities.

While grocers are largely sitting on the sidelines in this massive food waste fight against ugly and surplus produce, food banks and farmers are certainly not. The latest example of farmers joining this fight is Feeding Indiana’s Hungry program, which receives US$300,000 allocated by the state legislature annually to help fund the farm to food bank program. The funding enables food banks to buy fresh produce significantly below wholesale value.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIH) Executive Director, Emily Weikert Bryant says that the program has been going very well in its early stage as producers are contacting FIH with requests. One of the first large recoveries was for over 900 watermelons that were surplus and would have gone uneaten, but instead, made their way to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana.

In California, where 50 percent of the country’s produce is grown, the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) Farm to Family program recovers 140 million pounds of produce a year. This produce then goes to 40 different food banks that partner with over 5,000 food pantries. While there is some financial support from foundations and donations, as with the FIH program and others, the CAFB program is mostly supported by modest program fees to farmers.

In addition to those fees, tax credits are also quite helpful in California (and some other states). Some growers can see up to US$60,000 in tax credits each year, according to CAFB Farm to Family Program Coordinator Steve Linkhart.

The CAFB program has plenty of room to grow as only 120 of the approximently 30,000 growers in California participate. And other programs around the country have room to grow as well, as there is still billions of pounds of produce left uneaten before the store each year. Please support Farm to Food Bank programs in IndianaCaliforniaKentucky, or wherever they exist this Hunger Action Month and the other 11 months of the year because they are truly making beautiful things happen with ugly produce.

Find out more about the growing “ugly” produce movement at my social media campaign @UglyFruitAndVeg on TwitterInstagramFacebook and now on Pinterest as well. 

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.

United Producers Teams with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry for National Co-op Month

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry is joining forces with United Producers Inc. (UPI), which operates four livestock marketing facilities in Indiana and has locations throughout the Midwest, to launch a month-long Cooperating to Feed Our Community fundraiser. This food bank fundraiser kicked off today, and is being held in honor of October being National Co-Op Month and 2012 being the International Year of the Cooperative.

“One in six Hoosiers doesn’t always know where they will find their next meal,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the state food bank association.  “That’s more than one million people in our state.  For Hoosier children, the risk is a high as one in four.  As we enter this season of harvest and giving thanks, we must remember that many among us don’t have enough, and it’s going to take everyone in our communities working together to end hunger.  We are grateful that United Producers members and employees understand the difference an engaged community can make in ensuring our neighbors have enough to eat.”

To demonstrate the power of the cooperative, United Producers is asking its members and employees to help make a difference in their community this October by donating to their state food bank association. Members and employees can donate as little or as much as they wish—per head of livestock marketed through UPI or in a lump sum – and all donations will be tax deductible. Forms can be completed upon check-in at any United Producers market, or obtained from any UPI representative starting October 1.

“As a cooperative organization, we know how important it is to help those in our communities,” said Dennis Bolling, President and CEO of UPI. “Cooperating to Feed Our Community is a great opportunity for our farmer members and employees to give back to our community through making donations to our local food banks. Food prices continue to rise, and this is one tangible way our farmer members and employees are working together to help ease that burden for those in Indiana who need it most.”

State Fair Recipe Trail Results in Donation to Indiana’s Hungry

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.(September 11, 2012) — Thanks to the more than 3,000 visitors who completed the Recipe Trail at this year’s Indiana State Fair, Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF) will donate 3,132 pounds of food to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH).  The cash equivalent of $5,199.12 will be used to purchase food – enough for 2,610 meals – to feed Hoosier families.

“Indiana’s Family of Farmers is a valuable partner in FIsH’s mission of feeding those in need,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “At a time when one is six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and the number of Indiana children is as high as one in four, the assistance of Indiana’s agricultural community is crucial in getting food from the farm to the tables of those most in need of assistance.”

This donation was made possible through the IFoF Recipe Trail at the Indiana State Fair in August where fairgoers picked up recipes in eight locations around the fairgrounds.  For every person who went through the trail, one pound of food was committed to FIsH and its 11 member food banks around Indiana.

This year, 3,132 people completed the trail. The Feeding America network values donated poundage at $1.66 per pound, equating to a total donation of $5,199.12.  The agriculture coalition plans to continue the recipe trail during the 2013 State Fair.

“The recipe trail is a win-win for those who participate,” said Kevin Wilson, a farmer from Walton, Ind. and president of Indiana Soybean Alliance, an IFoF partner.  “Fairgoers really enjoyed the recipe hunt and were excited to know their efforts would result in food for their neighbors.”

“What Indiana’s Family of Farmers does best is grow safe, nutritious food, so what better way to help than to do what we can to feed families in need,” Wilson added.

About Indiana’s Family of Farmers

Indiana’s Family of Farmers was formed in 2009 to raise awareness that Indiana’s farmers are among the top producers of grains, produce and meats you eat every day.  We believe that quality farming means quality food that is good for you, your families and the environment. That’s our promise: Food for your family, from our family.

The participating Indiana’s Family of Farmers groups include the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Pork Producers, Indiana Beef Council, Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana State Poultry Association, Indiana Wine Grape Council,  Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, Indiana Professional Dairy Producers, Indiana Beekeepers Association, Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Indiana 4-H Foundation, Inc., Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Purdue Agriculture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information visit www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com

Media Contact: Megan Kuhn, mkuhn@indianasoybean.com or 317-614-0377

Indiana Soybean Alliance is a partner in Indiana Family of Farmers


Farm Bill Discussion Must Keep Health of the Hungry in Mind

As the House begins drafting its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, we hope Congress will remember that the health and well-being of the millions of people who will be affected by any cuts to anti-hunger programs in the House Farm Bill are more important than numbers on the balance sheet.

Our nation’s economy is struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades, and families across America are still hurting. Unemployment remains just below 8 percent in Indiana.  Many Hoosiers who were once comfortably middle class or managing to get by now turn to federal programs for help feeding their families.

The member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry see this firsthand every day with 16 percent of our neighbors, including 1 in 4 children, facing hunger. While our food banks provide 5.5 million pounds of food per month to clients in Indiana at food banks, pantries, and other programs, we could not meet the need without strong federal anti-hunger programs.  Only 4 percent of food assistance is privately funded by charity in the United States.

We strongly oppose cuts to anti-hunger programs. With sustained high need for food assistance, food banks across the country are stretched thin, serving more people with less food. For example, food from the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides nearly 25% of the food our network distributes, has declined by more than 30 percent from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2012.

Our economy is slowly improving and unemployment is projected to remain high for some time.  There is a long path ahead until jobs and opportunities are restored. In the meantime, we need to ensure that vulnerable families, children and seniors have access to three square meals a day.

As important as charity is, it cannot meet the need alone. Food banks like ours cannot fill the gap if SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) is cut. SNAP has responded quickly and effectively during the recession to help ensure that Hoosier families, children and seniors have enough to eat. Participants on average spend only 10 months on SNAP. 84 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with a child, elderly person or disabled person.

We ask Congress to oppose proposals that would reduce funding or impose harmful policy changes to hunger-relief programs like SNAP.  Investing in hunger relief makes sense fiscally.  Hunger increases health care costs, lowers worker productivity, harms children’s development and diminishes their educational performance – these are costs that we cannot afford.

We urge our leaders to work together to strengthen and protect anti-hunger programs like SNAP and TEFAP from budget cuts. Hunger is not a partisan issue. Helping our neighbors in need is one of our most important national values. The cuts to SNAP proposed by the House of Representatives would be devastating to charities like ours and to the clients we serve.  Visit us at a member food bank to see the real faces of hunger, and meet Hoosiers whose lives will be affected by these decisions.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Out of Reach for Many Hoosier Residents

New Report Shows 8.5 Percent of Households in Indiana Report Difficulty Accessing Affordable Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – December 15, 2011 –8.5 percent of households in Indiana reported difficulty accessing affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in the communities where they live, according to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  This is slightly above the national average of 8.2 percent of American households for the same 2008-2010 time frame of the study.
Much attention has been paid in recent years to whether Americans have adequate access to healthy food in their communities, and this new report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) sheds a light on such challenges in Indiana and across the nation.
Containing data down to the congressional district, FRAC’s report – A Half Empty Plate: Fruit and Vegetable Affordability and Access Challenges in America – analyzes the answers given by hundreds of thousands of survey respondents to a question posed by Gallup-Healthways: “In the city or area where you live, is it easy or not easy to get affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.” FRAC characterizes “not easy” answers as evidence of an affordability and access challenge.
In Indiana for the 2008-2010 time period, the report found:
  • 8.5 percent of people in Indiana said they were unable to access or afford fresh fruits and vegetables. The rate for households with children was 9.3 percent.
  • For congressional districts in Indiana the rates ranged from a high of 11 percent to a low of 6.5 percent for all households.  See table below.
Nationally, those with household incomes less than $24,000/year reported affordability and access challenges 2.5 times more frequently than those with incomes between $60,000 and $89,999.  People who reported high rates of food hardship (an inability to afford enough food) also were more likely to say they had difficulty accessing affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in their communities.  Among people reporting poor health status, the prevalence of fruit and vegetable affordability and access challenges was four times that of people reporting excellent health status (20.0 percent vs. 5.0 percent).
“A household’s ability to access healthy food hinges on having enough resources to do so. The fact that more than 200,000 Hoosier households indicate it was not easy to access affordable fruits and vegetables shows that many are struggling with this access and affordability problem, and that it is an economic challenge at the household level,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Supporting families’ ability to purchase healthier food items is essential to solving this challenge. That includes efforts at the federal level to improve SNAP benefits so they go further, efforts at the state level to increase outreach so more people receive these benefits, and then efforts at the community level to increase the number of outlets offering healthy food and accepting SNAP benefits. Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and our member food banks also work with farmers, producers and retailers across Indiana to increase fresh produce available to our clients to provide additional access to healthy foods.”
The full report is available on FRAC’s website at http://frac.org/pdf/half_empty_plate_dec2011.pdf.
IN Congressional District              All Households                   
Households with Children
8.5 (28th in the nation)
9.3 (27th in the nation)

About the Report

A Half-Empty Plate contains the Food Research and Action Center’s analysis of survey data that were collected by Gallup. Gallup has been interviewing 1,000 households per day almost every day since January 2, 2008 for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project. People have been asked a series of questions on a range of topics including emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and access to basic services. Specific to this report, people were asked, “In the city or area where you live, is it easy or not easy to get affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Grow to Give Potatoes Donates to Several Indiana Food Banks

Millions of Pounds of Nutritious Potatoes to Feed Indiana’s Hungry

October 4, 2011—The management team at Lennard Ag decided this year that they were going to plant and grow 40 acres of potatoes and donate all of them to food banks and pantries to help alleviate hunger. Twelve additional corporate partners and 2.2 million pounds of potatoes later, the Grow to Give program has donated potatoes to several members of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, including the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, and Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana. Hoosiers in need in 23 Indiana counties will receive the donated potatoes through the agencies served by the food banks. Lennard estimates that the production from 40 acres will feed roughly four million people.

“There are families in need of food, both here and around the country. We have the ability to help and felt compelled to take action. We work with great people in this area’s ag industry and have joined together to share available resources to grow and provide nutritious potatoes to those families,” Kyle Lennard, partner in Lennard Ag, said.

“We could not be more thankful for the donation of fresh and nutritious produce to our member food banks,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “That the Lennards have made such a commitment to hunger relief and have devoted such time and energy to the program speaks volumes about their corporate philosophy on community and their eagerness for sharing the harvest.”

The donation comes just as new data shows more and more Hoosiers are in need. A recent report from Feeding America indicated that one in six Hoosiers are at risk for hunger, and as many as one in four Hoosier children.

Potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients. According to the United States Potato Board, one medium potato with the skin contains 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 2 grams of dietary fiber, as much or more potassium than bananas, spinach or broccoli, 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6, trace amounts of other nutrients, and no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

About Lennard Ag Company
Lennard Ag Company is a family owned and operated farm growing potatoes and grain crops in southern Michigan and northern Indiana. Established in 1947, Lennard Ag is a three generations deep farm managed today by Kim Lennard and his children Kyle and Lori Lennard. Anchored by their strong history, Lennard Ag Company’s modern operations are complemented by their care for the land, their community and the people with whom they work. For more information about Grow to Give, visit www.lennardag.com/grow.