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Food Insecurity Plagues One Million Hoosiers

A new report from Feeding American says 16 percent of people in Indiana are food insecure.

food pantry

Photo: SAIatCalU (flickr)

More than 300,000 children in Indiana don't know when they will get their next meal.

More than a million Hoosiers don’t know where their next meal will come from or when it will come, according to a report from Feeding America.

Nearly 16 percent of Hoosiers are food insecure and that includes nearly 346,000 children. More than half likely qualify for federal assistance, such as food stamps.

But 31 percent of those considered food insecure earn income above federal assistance eligibility levels, meaning their only access to help comes from charitable organizations.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Executive Director Emily Weikart Bryant says it’s not always clear what those people do to get food.

“They could be making a number of tradeoffs,” Bryant said. “And we know that, from our client studies in the past, clients are choosing between buying food and paying for medical bills, rent, utilities, transportation.”

Bryant says the average Hoosier can help by volunteering at a local food bank and donating food or money to local pantries.

“If you’ve got a garden in your yard, plant an extra row and you can share it with the charitable sector, you can share it with the pantry in your neighborhood, or you can take it to the senior across the street that might not be able to get out or the family down the way that has a number of mouths to feed,” Bryant said.

Marion County has the highest percentage of food insecure people at more than 19 percent, while Hamilton County in central Indiana has the lowest at a little less than 10 percent.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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