Photo: Steve Rhode (Flickr)
With Thanksgiving a few days away, food banks across the state will face an increase in need from the organizations they serve.
Gleaners Food Bank, the oldest and largest in Indiana, distributes food to groups such as food pantries, soup kitchens and senior centers. While some of those organizations require more around the holiday season, the increased demand is balanced by a greater awareness this time of year.
Spokesperson Carrie Fulbright says Gleaners offers food barrels people can use to collect donations.
“We were actually out of those for people to borrow by Halloween this year, I think, because people were wanting to make sure families got fed, so we absolutely see an increase in food drives and people wanting to help us during the holidays,” she says.
Fulbright says the problem is that when the holidays end, the awareness dies down, and she emphasizes that hunger is a year-round issue.
“Our agencies are seeing a 30 to 35 percent increase in demand in their food pantries over this time last year,” she says.
Fulbright says about half of the population Gleaners serves is children and senior citizens, and she adds that help does not need to be in the form of food donations either. She says giving money or volunteering can go a long way.