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Food Bank Reaches Compromise To Receive Federal Aid

Instead of individual food recipients being asked to pray before receiving aid, they are now asked afterwards if they would like to pray.

food bank

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

A volunteer helps a Jackson County resident pick out food at the Community Provisions food bank.

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.

Dan Goldblatt

Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.

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