Column: Food insecurity on the rise in Hamilton Co.

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Commentary by Cindy Hubert

When most of us think of food insecurity, we think of urban areas like downtown Indianapolis or very rural communities. Most of us don’t think of affluent suburbs like Carmel, Noblesville or Westfield. But, surprisingly, we’re seeing the highest increases in food insecurity in areas like Hamilton County.

With nearly 27,000 people struggling with food insecurity in Hamilton County, hunger is a very real problem. But how would you know if a neighbor was food insecure? Hunger isn’t easy to see.

After Sara’s dad lost his executive job last fall, it wasn’t long until the family was unable to pay their mortgage. So far, he’s been unable to find a similar position, so he now works nights to earn just enough to cover some of their expenses. After paying for the basics, there isn’t much left to buy groceries.

Thankfully, Sara’s school participates in Gleaners’ BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids program, so she gets a small bag of food on Fridays to help out when she can’t eat breakfast and lunch at school.

Sara dresses like the other kids. Her family drives their same car. How would you know Sara was hungry?

Most likely, you wouldn’t.

Gleaners is working to feed hungry men, women and children in Hamilton County through programs like BackSacks, School-Based Pantry, the Mobile Pantry and Summer Meals for Kids. The food bank also partners to provide food for organizations such as the Carmel UMC Food Pantry, House of Refuge and Loving Hands Food & Clothes Pantry.

Hunger isn’t easy to see, but compassion is easy to offer.

Gleaners needs your support to help meet the needs of our neighbors who are struggling to feed their families. Every dollar you give at gleaners.org/give provides food for three meals. And the more you give, the more people we can feed. Until every bowl is filled.

Cindy Hubert joined Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana as president and CEO in November 2010. Since then, her leadership and vision have led to enhancing and expanding the organization’s direct service programs.

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