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Hunger Still A Struggle In Indiana

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Keith Weller, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
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A new report highlights the critical need to address food insecurity in Indiana.

The USDA Household Food Security in the United States report found 14 percent of Indiana households struggled with hunger between 2011 and 2013, slightly higher than the previous three-year average.

Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana's Hungry, says the effects of the recession are lingering. Many residents are still making low wages or are without a job, and are having a tough time putting food on the table.

"The folks that are maybe between jobs or who are just unable to work due to disability or age," explains Weikert Bryant, "are still going to have issues lingering far into time past what might be considered an economic recovery."

She encourages Hoosiers to step up and help their hungry neighbors by volunteering at a food pantry, donating to a food drive, or making a financial donation. She says people can also build awareness by writing to their elected officials, or taking the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program "SNAP Challenge," by living on food stamps for a week and sharing the experience on social media.

According to the report, food insecurity rates ranged from over 21 percent in Arkansas to 8.7 percent in North Dakota, which Weikert Bryant says shows no corner of the country is immune from hunger. She encourages federal leaders to support programs that help those at risk of hunger.

"We know that there's a lot going on in Washington and around the world that takes their attention away from programs like commodity foods, or other issues that bring food into our foodbanks," says Weikert Bryant. "But that's an important thing for them to keep their eye on as they go into this next federal fiscal year."

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