No one deserves to be hungry.
This basic principle guides much of the work we do at Hoosier Hills Food Bank. It's important to learn about the people we serve and how hunger affects their lives.
The Hoosier Hills Food Bank:
- distributes food products in a six-county service area in South Central Indiana. 41,740 people, or 16.5% of the total population, in the HHFB service area are food insecure. (Feeding America Map the Meal Gap Study)
- provides food to approximately 26,000 individuals each month in our service area
- rescued, on average, over 308,300 pounds of food each month in 2013
Hunger is an income issue, an indicator of the growing disparity between income and expenses.
National & State Information
Hunger in the United States
Despite our status as an advanced and industrialized nation with a high standard of living, hunger and food insecurity persist as significant problems in America, and have grown significantly during the recent economic recession.
Each year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues a report, “Household Food Security in the United States.” The most recent report covers the calendar year 2013. According to USDA, approximately 14.3 percent, or 49.1 million people, were food insecure at some point in 2013.
Similarly, our partner organization and the national food bank network, Feeding America, conducts comprehensive hunger studies. In its "Hunger in America 2014" study, Feeding America reported that 1 in 7 people in the United States, or 46.5 million, receive food or assistance from a Feeding America food bank or pantry each year, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
Children and seniors are particularly vulnerable groups when it comes to food insecurity. One in five kids in the United States is food insecure (Map the Meal Gap 2015). Nationwide, 4.8 million seniors, or one in every 12 seniors is food insecure. This rate has more doubled since 2001. (“Spotlight on Senior Hunger Report”, 2011)
Hunger in the State of Indiana
Hoosiers are not immune to hunger and food insecurity. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap study estimates that:
- 15.4%, or 1,012,970, Hoosiers are food insecure
- More than one in five children in Indiana is food insecure, and in much of the HHFB service area this rate is closer to 1 in 4 kids.
Hoosiers are also faced with troubling tradeoffs:
- 85% of households who received food from an Indiana food bank in 2014 reported purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options.
- 77% percent of households reported having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
Hunger and malnutrition are global problems. It’s estimated that over 900 million people go hungry and that almost 16,000 children die each day from hunger-related causes. Poverty, economic and agricultural policies, conflict, climate change, and natural disasters are all considered contributing causes to world hunger. Many organizations provide information or are working to end global hunger.
One of Hoosier Hills Food Bank’s goals is to educate the community about hunger issues in order to encourage action and advocacy. There are many organizations working to end hunger and we will provide links to many of them here in order to facilitate the flow of information. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of hunger-related resources, or an endorsement of any information source or program over another.
Two terms are important and several of the sites that we will link to include definitions of these and other concepts. “Hunger” is generally defined as an uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food. “Food insecurity” is generally defined as a lack of regular access to nutritious food. Many organizations use these terms interchangeably, including HHFB.
- Partner Agency Links
- Other Indiana Food Banks
- Local Hunger and Poverty links
- National Hunger and Poverty links
Partner Agency Links
- Area 10 Agency on Agency
- Center for Sustainable Living
- Community Kitchen
- First United Methodist Church
- Monroe County United Ministries
- Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
- Shalom Community Center
- The Salvation Army of Monroe County
Other Indiana Food Banks
- www.gleaners.org - Indianapolis/Columbus Area
- www.communityharvest.org - Fort Wayne Area
- www.feedindiana.org - South Bend Area
- www.curehunger.org - Anderson Area
- www.food-finders.org - Lafayette Area
- www.foodbanknwi.org - Gary Area
- www.tristatefoodbank.org - Evansville Area
- www.daretocare.org - Louisville and Southeast Indiana Area
- www.freestorefoodbank.org - Cincinnati and Southeast Indiana Area
- www.in.gov/dwd/ - Department of Workforce Development
Local Hunger & Poverty Links
- Monroe county info about social services available
- www.monroementalhealth.com - Family Service Association provides services that support and strengthen the healthy quality of family life in its various styles and its many relationships.
- www.monroeunitedway.org United Way Services
- www.bloomington.in.us/socserv - This area of HoosierNet is dedicated to our area's Social Service Community, the hundreds of organizations in Monroe and surrounding counties devoted to fulfilling the needs of our community and its people.
- http://cgi.hoosier.net/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/uwmonroe/viewentry IRIS is a listing of nonprofit human services in Monroe County provided by United Way of Monroe County and HoosierNet.
- Lawrence County United Way
- www.in.gov/fssa/families - Info about food stamps and other assistance from state government
- www.bloomington.in.us/~scan/ - Service Community Assessment of Needs in Monroe County 2003
- www.bloomington.in.us/~scan/supplement.htm Service Community Assessment of Needs in Monroe County 2005 Supplement Data
- Bloomington Meals on Wheels
National Hunger & Poverty Links
- www.feedingamerica.org - Feeding America--The Nation's Food Bank Network. U.S. hunger-relief organization that distributes food to millions of hungry Americans through a network of food banks and food-rescue organizations.
- www.thehungersite.com - Make donations of food to hungry people while viewing an animated World Hunger Map. Donations are at no cost to site visitors, but instead are borne by site sponsors.
- www.frac.org - Working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and under-nutrition in the U.S.
- Economic Research Services, USDA - ERS research analyzes the causes of structural change in the food sector and its impact on food markets and consumers.
- www.bread.org - Citizens' movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers.
- Children's Defense - Seeks to ensure that children have a successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
- www.mazon.org - Allocates donations from the Jewish community to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.
- www.foodtodonate.com - Assists in providing an alternative to discarding excess safe unsold food by linking food service donors to agencies administering programs which help the hungry.
- www.alliancetoendhunger.org - Engages diverse institutions more deeply in an effort to win the shifts in U.S. public opinion, institutions and policy that could dramatically reduce hunger in the United States and internationally.
- www.foodbanking.org - A goal to end world hunger, global food banking asssists food banks and food bank networks