Indiana’s community kitchens, pantries and food banks saw a 154% increase in visits since the onset of COVID-19, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Jordan said throughout the public health crisis and during the state’s ongoing recovery, many families need access to food and local programs are trying to keep up with the demand.
“During these difficult times, Operation Food is helping individuals and families connect to their local community’s food resources,” Jordan said. “No matter the circumstances, Hoosiers should not be going hungry. With a pandemic creating challenges here locally, I’m encouraged by the many people stepping up to help our neighbors and get our state back on track.”
Indiana’s food distribution network is made up of 12 food banks, and nearly 1,750 pantries and community kitchens. To help pool resources and meet the need, Jordan said FSSA’s Operation Food connects the network to hunger relief organizations, like Indy Hunger Network and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, along with the Indiana State Health Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Hoosiers can visit in.gov/fssa and click on “Food Assistance Availability Map” to find help nearby. The map includes pantries, meal sites with packed food ready to take home and eat, and school sites feeding students throughout the summer. Information is also provided on how to make a donation to local food banks as Indiana continues to recover from the health crisis.
Jordan said Hoosiers can also call 211 to connect to additional resources and programs, including help with housing, utilities and summer food service options for children.