Food Bank of Northern Indiana working to stamp out hunger

The numbers are startling; nearly 20 percent of families in northern Indiana don’t know where they will get their next meal.

But, as ABC57’s Keitha Nelson shows us, The Food Bank of Northern Indiana is working to stamp out hunger.  

They are doing this by giving students backpacks full of food.

It’s a heart-breaking thought, knowing thousands of students only eat at school, getting free lunch.

When the bell rings, Friday afternoon, many kids shuffle home not knowing when or if they will eat again throughout the weekend.

She’la Perry said, “We have to do what we have to do.”

She’la Perry is one of many people grateful for the food bank’s assistance.

Her granddaughter, Morgan, starts school Thursday Morning where she will get breakfast and lunch served to here.

Perry, who is currently unemployed, will only have to find a way to provide dinner.

Perry says, “Grandma has to take of her. Make sure she's up and healthy and energized and ready to work."

At the Food bank of Northern Indiana volunteers are constantly working to keep up with the high demand.

Workers are putting food into bags, that will get stuffed into kids backpacks on Friday afternoon.

Its part of the Back Packs for Kids program, designed for students k through 6.

Students who qualify are sent home every Friday with meals to keep them full until Monday morning.  

Joyce Bosler said, “I can remember when we were kids and there were five of us at home.”

For some volunteers, feeding the children in need hits close to home. 

Joyce Bosler remembers as a child getting free food when times got rough.

Bosler said, “It was appreciated. We used everything that they gave us.”

Now she is giving back as best as she can.

Michelle Jefferies said, “When you are talking about kids going hungry, the issue touches your heart.”

Jefferies is the youth program coordinator with the food bank and she has seen first-hand, the need for the back pack program.

Last year the program served 820 students and this year the number of kids in need is up to 1050.

The Food Bank of Northern Indiana serves six parishes and 12 schools and they plan to add four more this year.

They are in need of sponsors, volunteers and donations. If you would like to help in any way call 574-232-9986.

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