Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) announced today that Indiana food banks will receive a historic combined total of $2 million to support their efforts in feeding Hoosiers in need. This year’s funding is double of what was received last year.
“Providing for Hoosiers who are food insecure across our state is a priority,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I am proud that the general assembly recognized this by appropriating additional state funding towards our Indiana food banks.”
According to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIH), while the long lines outside of food banks and food pantries may not have been as noticeable in 2021 as the year before, nearly 1 in 6 Americans received food assistance from the charitable sector last year.
Indiana food banks are a subsect of food pantries and soup kitchens. Indiana has 11 food banks which feed into pantries and soup kitchens across the state. Each food bank received part of the $2 million in funding, therefore helping all community food pantries, kitchens, churches and more. This funding will allow food pantries, soup kitchens and other food distribution centers to receive additional food products from the food bank that serves their location.
According to FIH, Indiana’s food banks and food pantries are serving more Hoosier neighbors now than during the pandemic because of inflation and its lingering economic impact.
“Our member food banks are serving record numbers of Hoosier families as relief programs that help families makes ends meet have tapered off or ended. Too many in our communities continue to make difficult choices between paying bills and buying groceries. For any Hoosier to be unsure from where their next meal will come is unacceptable,” said Emily Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “We’re grateful for the support of the Indiana General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Crouch and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture for providing additional support to our members to help them serve our neighbors and our communities.”
ISDA Director Don Lamb is hopeful this increased funding will go a long way in supporting these organizations.
“Organizations like Indiana food banks are what makes growing food so rewarding,” said Don Lamb, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “They have the necessary resources and skills to distribute large amounts of food and help community members in need. We are so thankful for the work they do for their communities across the state in helping food insecure Hoosiers.”
The funding was provided by the Indiana Legislature, as part of its biennial budget. The distribution amounts were determined using The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TFAP) fair share percentages for Indiana, which captures poverty and unemployment levels in each county.
Julio Alonso, Executive Director and CEO of Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, is excited to be able to support more families.
“Hoosier Hills Food Bank is extremely grateful to receive this support from Lt. Gov. Crouch, the General Assembly and ISDA, which will enable us to purchase nutritious food in support of our food insecure Hoosier neighbors,” said Alonso. “The increase in funding this year is especially timely because inflation has taken a hard toll on many families and seniors. We’ve seen increases in people seeking help with food and we, along with our fellow food banks across the state, have been working hard to keep them fed even as our own costs have increased. These funds, and the encouragement that comes with them, are truly impactful for us and the people we serve.”
The following list includes the food banks are receiving funding for fiscal year 2024:
- Community Harvest Food Bank – $200,000.00
- Dare to Care Food Bank – $72,200.00
- Food Bank of Northern Indiana – $233,000.00
- Food Bank of Northwest Indiana – $195,200.00
- Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. – $185,000.00
- FreeStore Foodbank– $16,600.00
- Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc. – $643,600.00
- Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Inc. – $86,200.00
- Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central IN, Inc. – $157,400.00
- Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Inc. – $87,800.00
- Tri-State Food Bank, Inc. – $123,000.00