Indiana’s food banks were recently given $300,000 from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Locally, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which serves Marshall, Starke, and four other counties, was given just over $36,000. Food Finders Food Bank, whose 16-county territory includes Pulaski and Fulton counties, has gotten nearly $29,000.
The funding is part of the state budget approved by the Indiana General Assembly last year. The Emergency Food Assistance Program fair share percentage, which is based on each county’s poverty and unemployment levels, was used to divide that money among the state’s 11 regional food banks, according to a State Department of Agriculture press release.
One in seven Indiana residents is food insecure, and more than 280,000 Hoosier children don’t know where their next meal is coming from, according to the state’s food bank association, known as Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. The group’s executive director, Emily Weikert Bryant says food banks get most of their food donated from retail establishments and food producers, but the state funding helps them buy milk, produce, and other high-demand items.
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as the state’s secretary of agriculture and rural development, said in the press release that food banks across Indiana “are doing truly extraordinary things” for those who need help feeding their families.