Lugar continues leadership on hunger issues in Indiana and in Washington
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — September 10, 2010 — As children around the state are back in school and our members of Congress go back to Washington, we are humbled by the number of Indiana children in need of food assistance and grateful that our own Senator Lugar is working hard at home and in Congress to reduce child hunger.
One in six Indiana children lives in a family that struggle to get enough to eat. Over 50 percent of Indiana school-children can count on free or reduced-price lunches to nourish them during the school day, but many of the same children don’t know whether they’ll have enough to eat after the school bell rings.
Food banks like the eleven members of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry are working to make sure Indiana’s families have enough food for their children to grow healthy and strong. In addition to providing groceries through local food pantries, our food banks support programs that feed children when school is out. Our KidsCafe afterschool snack sites and weekend Backpack programs ensure that children have the nutrition they need when they are away from school, and our summer programs feed children when school is out for the summer.
The number of families seeking emergency food assistance from food bank programs has grown dramatically in recent years. Last year, when Senator Lugar heard from food banks across the state that demand had increased more than 30 percent over previous years, he started the Hoosiers Fighting Hunger campaign. Senator Lugar reached out to Kroger, Marsh, and Walmart and asked them to partner together for the first time in a statewide food drive. The companies set up displays in stores across the state encouraging shoppers to purchase pre-bagged food items for the food drive. Thanks to Senator Lugar’s leadership, the partnership of those grocers, and the generosity of people across the state, Hoosiers Fighting Hunger collected 138 tons of food statewide last year.
A strong member of our community, Senator Lugar has been an equally strong leader in Congress, supporting the work of Indiana’s food banks and working to address child hunger through the child nutrition bill. Senator Lugar has been the lead champion of the Summer Food Service Program, and his innovative efforts to strengthen and improve the program have been adopted nationwide. To express our gratitude for his leadership, we will honor Senator Lugar at a September 30th event concluding Hunger Action Month. But given the impact of Senator Lugar’s efforts on thousands of families across the state, we thought it was only right that we express our thanks publicly as well.
The Hoosiers Against Hunger food drive isn’t over yet, and we ask for your help to ensure another successful food drive this year. Please support your local food bank by visiting Kroger, Marsh, or Walmart before September 30 and donating a bag of groceries.