Food Finders launches Mobile Pantry Community Outreach program

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The release of the 2010 Hunger in America Study by Feeding America proves what Food Finders Food Bank has known for more than a year, the demand for food assistance by Hoosier families is increasing.

Volunteers sort canned foods at Food Finders Food Bank of Lafayette

Volunteers sort donated canned food items at Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette, Ind.

“The demand this past year has been nearly overwhelming,” said Katy Bunder, Executive Director, Food Finders.  “We hear more and more that people in our service area are suffering. Kids are going to bed hungry, families have no money for food after paying utilities and rent and seniors are having to choose to buy medication or to eat. We just believe there is more we can do.”

Local statistics indicate that Food Finders serves an estimated 10,000 different clients per week in programs throughout the mid north Indiana service area.  The survey samples also indicate that 33.9 % of all households seeking food assistance have at least on adult working.  Women comprise 64.3% of all clients at program sites and 43.1% of the households served have children younger than 18 years of age.  In addition, results also show that 99% of clients have a place to prepare meals and more than half live in traditional households.  More than 50% of clients reported having very low food security which indicates one or more members either skip meals or experience increased hunger due to a lack of adequate resources for food.

With local pantry outreach struggling to meet this demand, Food Finders launched their Mobile Pantry Community Outreach Program in January.  Through a cooperative arrangement with Area V Agency on Aging and Community Service, Food Finders sends a truck and volunteers to a host site for a food distribution event.  The food distribution is client choice and participants must meet low income requirements to qualify.  Volunteers assist clients in selecting meat, fresh produce, frozen meals, vegetables, dairy products and beverages.  The first distribution provided nearly 10,000 pounds of products and served almost 200 families.

The next Mobile Pantry Community Outreach is scheduled for February 23, 2010 in Peru, Indiana.

Food Finders is excited about this new distribution outlet and expects the impact to greatly improve service to the rural communities in the 16 county service area.  At the present time there are four counties with service below the recommendations for pounds for persons in poverty statistics.  Counties needing additional food bank services are Carroll, Fulton, Jasper and Pulaski.  The Mobile Pantry Community Outreach will service Fulton County on March 2, 2010 in Rochester.

The mobile pantry program is part of an ongoing effort to distribute more food to those in need.  Through community support, Food Finders facilitates programs that distribute nearly 4 million pounds of food annually.

 

To sponsor a Mobile Pantry Community Outreach in your area call Food Finders Food Bank at 765.471.0062.

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