A southern Indiana food bank has changed some of its policies so it can start receiving federal aid again. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) had stopped sending food to the Community Provisions of Jackson County earlier this month.
The food bank was asking those receiving food if they would like to pray with food bank volunteers. This violated the federal food program’s guidelines, which says aid cannot be tied to a religious obligation.
Gleaners Food Bank is the agency that distributes federally funded food in Indiana, and says the agreement reached with Community Provisions is a compromise both sides can deal with.
Director of External Relations for Gleaners, Carrie Fulbright, says instead of individual food recipients being asked to pray before receiving aid, they are now asked afterwards if they would like to pray.
“It removes the idea that it might be a requirement (to receive aid), even though it was not a requirement with Community Provisions,” she says.
Fulbright says during the entire process, Gleaners continued to supply Community Provisions with food that was not purchased with federal dollars.
Community Provisions Director Brock says about 15-percent of the food coming into his food bank comes from the federal program.