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More Hoosiers go hungry amid inflation, food pantries struggle with costs



Indianapolis, Indiana – Food banks are requesting assistance from the public as they once again face a high demand.

“Really, everything has gone up across the board because of inflation,” the Family and Adult Services Director of Westminster Neighborhood Services, Olivia Stewart, said.

Every $7 gift, according to the group Second Helpings, provides a healthy dinner for a family of four. Donations were $5 last year. That represents a 40% rise.

“Our partners that we work with are seeing a huge increase in demand for food, whether folks are trying to stretch their paychecks or their SNAP benefits. We’re all feeling it. Our dollars are just not going as far,” the CEO of Second Helpings, Linda Broadfoot, said.

More than 100 social assistance organizations, including Westminster Neighborhood Services, get the more than 4,000 meals the group produces every day.

“Being able to get food from Second Helpings multiple times during the week helps us serve, helps us feed our neighbors in our soup kitchen,” Stewart said.

According to Westminster Neighborhood Services, it’s become more and more difficult to maintain their warehouse stocked as more individuals turn to them for assistance.

“Our numbers are up about 25% from where they were a year ago at this time. On average, we serve I would say 200 to 225 households per week,” Stewart said.

According to Stewart, they are now buying much more to make up for the shortage of supplies.

“Due to that increased need, we haven’t been receiving as many donations as we typically used to, so we’re having to bridge that gap and purchase more food as an organization, which has its limitations,” Stewart said.

They are requesting cooperation from the community year-round to ensure that families receive the support they so desperately need to put food on the table.

“Whether it’s donating pasta, donating funds, having an office collect pasta – we’ve got a lot of bins here that could be a lot fuller, so getting folks involved at is a great way for folks to pitch in,” Broadfoot said.

You still have time to participate in the GR8 Pasta Push. Today, it costs $7 to feed a family of four using gifts of money. Even for little pasta like macaroni, boxes of pasta are quite helpful.

You can deliver the spaghetti to one of our sponsor sites. Thursday is the deadline for donations.

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