A Central Indiana church is asking for community support to keep offering its free meal program for hungry families after seeing a spike in need.
The Helping Hand Ministry at Franklin Church of Christ has been offering free meals on Tuesdays for about two years. It’s one of five churches offering a meal one day each week.
“We’re trying to make sure nobody goes hungry in Johnson County,” said Patty Rash, Helping Hand Ministry Leader.
For many, Rash said, this is the only hot meal they will eat all day.
Whiteland resident James Fisher and his wife have been attending the free dinner for months.
“My wife has medical conditions,” explained Fisher. “With the high medical costs and insurance and everything hitting at one time, it makes it really tough.”
When the program first started, Rash said it served about 20 people. Then that number doubled and now it’s at 120 meals each Tuesday.
Rash is trying to cut corners to keep up.
“Can I cut it back? Can I make it cheaper?” she wondered, but now she knows Helping Hands needs a hand.
Rash fears the worst and that feeling is painful, because she has sat where Fisher and others sit now.
“It’s a hard feeling to look at your own children and know you cannot feed them,” she said.
She’s reaching out to the community in hopes her guests won’t have to go without.
“I think that they should know that the people sitting next to them at the park, or walking down the street, or in the grocery store are coming here to get a meal.”