HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – A new website created by Hamilton County nonprofits launched on May 22 to help struggling residents in a time of growing need.
“It is a quieter crisis, but not every night on the news are you seeing drone footage of cars backed up and all that, even though that is our reality,” said President and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank Fred Glass.
Local food banks say as quickly as food hits the shelves, it’s right back out the door.
“Several of the big pantries have seen like 20-30 percent and in some cases 50 percent increase just in the last three to five months,” said Executive Director of Good Samaritan Network Nancy Chance.
Food banks said middle-class families that never thought they would need help putting a meal on the dinner table are even lining up. They say it’s due to inflation and the end of some federal aid.
“They are faced with making these really troubling decisions about do I eat or take my medicine? Do I eat or keep a roof over my head?” said Glass.
Due to the growing need, a group of nonprofits in Hamilton County created the website help4hamiltoncounty.org.
“It was really important to us for someone who came to our site to not just find the one need that they needed immediately, but also to find out there are all the other resources that I didn’t even know about,” said CEO and Executive Director of Trinity Free Clinic Mel Wischmeyer.
The website is also helping the food banks collaborate and allocate resources since inflation is making it harder to get the food they need.
“I’ve been writing 27 grants these last two weeks. A lot of the grants are going away that have been a mainstay, so you have to look creatively about where are you going from here,” said Chance.
The website will continue to expand.
“A lot of our first responders, government organizations, and even the schools are finding that this is a powerful tool for them to put on for families and residents in the county to let them know what kind of support they have when they need it,” said Wischmeyer.
If you would like to help out, you are encouraged to reach out to any individual nonprofit that is partnered with the site.