Why a Food Drive in Indianapolis?By Dimity Short
20 Jun 2011
Indiana has a reputation for it's beauty. Heavily nourished with lakes and rivers, it boasts rolling hills, rich country-side and numerous state parks.
As a holiday destination, there is a lot to see and do. However, there is an unfortunate and hidden travesty occurring in the midst of the state's beauty.
The US Census Bureau reports that 14.1% of Indiana's residents are living below the poverty level, meaning that 1,023,000 individuals state-wide regularly face hunger. Of these, Hunger in America found that around 2 thirds are food insecure - they don't have enough nutritionally adequate and safe foods or they don't have the ability or certainty to acquire foods in socially acceptable ways. The other third has very low food security, reducing food intake and disrupting eating patterns due to insufficient resources for food In other words, they are hungry.
Statistics show that due to varying factors, poverty generally affects cities more so than suburbia; this is true for Indiana. According to the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate in the state's capital of Indianapolis is up by 50% and the city is home to over 18,000 routinely hungry children. Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis serves many hunger-relief programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in 21 counties surrounding the state capital. Within their service area alone, more than 242,435 people live in poverty - over 89,895 of them, children.
Hunger has many faces in Indiana. Indiana regional food banks and the local charities with which they partner, serve around 700,000 low-income Hoosiers annually, nearly half of them being children and seniors. The clients served by Indiana's food bank network are employed, unemployed, disabled, and elderly; they are rural, suburban and urban families. Many are single parents. Most are living far below the poverty line, and a growing number are falling from the middle class into poverty. Hunger is everywhere, but it is a problem that can be solved.
Indiana's regional food banks along with the charities they support provide hands-on opportunities for the local community to make a difference in the lives of neighbors in need. These opportunities are practical and easy to be a part of, such as donating time or finances. State-wide mobilization of resources is absolutely critical as this network of people and programs pull together to serve the many that are in difficult circumstances.
Yes, there is a problem. However, there is an answer in the local community of Indiana; individuals and organizations all doing what lies in their hand to do to assist their state in overcoming this hunger epidemic. If you will be joining Hillsong UNITED at the Conseco Fieldhouse tonight, please bring with you some not perishable food for the our Food Drive. It will be going to the local folk that need it most.