INDIANAPOLIS — At Midwest Food Bank, feeding 90,000 Hoosiers every month is no easy task.
“I’ve always said it takes a community to feed and care for a community,” said Executive Director John Whitaker.
Thanks to a local donor, Whitaker says they were just getting started on incorporating $100,000 worth of eggs to help serve clients.
“For the first two months of this year, we were rolling with those eggs coming in. People were really excited and happy,” he said.
However, those plans would come to an unexpected pause.
Due to the Avian Flu, limited eggs are being produced, causing the food bank’s supplier to temporarily suspend supply for the time being.
“We don’t really have a big plan B other than try to find another source of protein,” said Whitaker.
“There’s a lot of cases going on right now, nationwide, and the virus is active, and it’s having a big impact on the poultry industry,” said Denise Derrer Spears, Indiana State Board of Animal Health.
Officials are continuing to monitor cases closely in Indiana, so far confirming six cases. Those cases were mostly contained to the southern parts of the state, on turkey farms, within Dubois and Greene counties.
Right now, confirmation is pending on a possible case, on a duck farm, in Elkhart County.
Derrer Spears says results could take a couple of days to confirm.
“Because of the diagnosis, and this is not the first case we’ve had in Indiana, we’re proceeding with our response as if it will come back as confirmed positive,” she said.
The state says it’s “cautiously optimistic” as numbers remain low in Indiana, but higher around the country.
“There are 24 states now with cases, and it’s totaled nationally, over 150,” said Derrer Spears.
In the meantime, Midwest Food Bank is looking into other options, but is calling on the community’s help as the cost for alternatives are expected to be higher.
“Now, we have to go to pork, or beef, or another alternative or even canned meats, which are even more expensive,” Whitaker said. “People, daily, count on that meal coming from us to supply them with that protein source.”
To help Midwest Food Bank, you can donate online.