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

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Food banks are seeing a big demand once again and are asking for the public’s help.

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

According to the nonprofit Second Helpings, every $7 donation provides a nutritious meal for a family of four. Last year, donations were $5. That’s a 40% increase.

“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.

The group prepares more than 4,000 meals each day that are distributed to more than 100 social service agencies, including Westminster Neighborhood Services.

“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.

Westminster Neighborhood Services says with more people seeking help, it’s become harder and harder to keep their warehouse stocked.

“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.

Stewart says they’re now shopping a lot more to fill in the gap in 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.

That’s why they’re asking the community to help not just during the holiday season, so that families get the assistance they desperately need to have food on their table.

This need is why WISH-TV is proud to be a part of the G8 Pasta Push to restock Second Helpings.

“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.

There is still time to help out with the GR8 Pasta Push. It now takes $7 dollars to feed a family of four through monetary donations. Boxes of pasta, even small pasta like macaroni, are incredibly useful.

The pasta can be dropped off at one of our sponsor locations. The last day to donate is Thursday.