The city of Indianapolis is striving to fight hunger in the city. Mayor Greg Ballard recently kicked off Indy’s annual Pack the Pantries food drive, which runs through Dec. 10th.
Indy Star reporter Jon Murray has a story about the anti-hunger initiative that was started by the mayor's office a few years ago.
Murray reports that it has resulted in closer collaboration among the roughly 300 organizations working to reduce hunger in the city. Most are small food pantries run by churches, other houses of worship and nonprofits.
According to stats from the US Department of Agriculture, the recession has increased “food insecurity” in Indiana, and the number of residents who sometimes go hungry has increased by 7 percent.
Earlier this year, the city and the participating groups -- including Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Second Helpings and Midwest Food Bank – helped form the Indy Hunger Network.
Its goal is to expand programs and food stamp benefits so that by 2015, nobody in the city has to miss a meal.
David Miner, the network's volunteer chairman, says Gleaners and Second Helpings both are working to double their capacity.
Miner is a retired Eli Lilly & Co. scientist, and he says this this year, the Indy Hunger Network is on track for 3 million additional meals for all ages.
Through the network, efficiency experts provided by Lilly have scrutinized several local organizations' operations and suggested improvements to make them more effective.
If you’d like to learn more about their efforts—and perhaps even help out, you can visit their website at IndyHunger.org.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.