HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – (April 21, 2016) – More and more families and children are going hungry in Indiana’s most affluent county. Gleaners Food Bank said they’ve seen the number of food insecure residents in Hamilton County steadily increasing.
“It’s very alarming, and we want to be able to help Hamilton County,” said Kathy Hahn Keiner, Chief Programs & Agency Relations Officer at Gleaners Food Bank. “For Hamilton County, their challenge to serve hungry neighbors is different than Marion County, where you might see it downtown, or something in Hamilton County, it’s not as visible.”
To compare, Gleaners reports that 28,300 residents in Hamilton County are food insecure, compared with 170,000 in Marion County.
Hahn Keiner says hunger in Hamilton County is more hidden. That’s why food pantries there can barely keep up.
“It’s hard to go to a food pantry line, and it’s hard to say I need some help, when maybe they were helping out beforehand,” said Keiner.
In the more suburban areas of the county, a family may be reliant on a six-figure income, then hit with a layoff or unexpected medical bills, unable to maintain their lifestyle and feed their family.
More rural areas of the county have different challenges, as some families may simply have limited incomes.
Hahn Keiner said it can even be difficult to raise funds.
“It’s very surprising. You have the most affluent county in the state of Indiana, but they have need just like everyone else,” said Keiner. “As you go out in the community talking about hunger, they look at you like, what are you talking about? It is in your neighborhood, but people have a hard time of understanding there are hungry neighbors.
There are two food pantries in schools in Arcadia and Sheridan, and a weekend “BackSacks Program” where food is sent home with a child for the weekend.
For food assistance, you can call the Gleaners help line at (317) 926-HELP.
A list of Gleaners participating food pantries in Hamilton County is listed below.
- Carmel UMC Food Pantry - Carmel
- Fishers United Methodist Church - Fishers
- Grace Church - Care Center - Noblesville
- Holy Spirit Parish at Geist - Fishers
- House of Refuge - Sheridan
- Loving Hands Food and Clothes Pantry - Noblesville
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church - Carmel
- St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church - Westfield
- Stilts Spirit a Giving Tree - Westfield
- White River Christian Church - Noblesville