Hunger in Indiana

Through our network of 250 charitable hunger relief agencies, Gleaners provides food assistance to more than 260,000 people. That’s 1 in 8 Hoosiers in our 21-county service area in central and southeast Indiana. Nearly half of those we serve are children and seniors.

Low Wages, Underemployment, and Unemployment Drive the Need for Food Assistance

  • 70% of client households are living at or below 100% of the poverty level.
  • 53% of client households report annual income of $10,000 and under.
  • 64% of client households report at least one employed person at some point in the past year.
  • 29% of client households include grandparents who have responsibility for grandchildren who live with them – which can be a potential barrier to employment for those households.

Hoosiers are being forced to make difficult choices

  • Over 75% of client households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for transportation, medical care, or utilities.
  • 65% report having to choose between paying for food and paying for housing.
  • 41% of households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for educational expenses.

Health issues can be made worse because of limited access to quality food

  • 1/3 of Gleaners’ clients have at least 1 member of the household with diabetes, and nearly 2/3 have at least 1 member of the household with high blood pressure.
  • 90% of households report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if they knew it wasn’t the healthiest option – in an effort to provide enough food for their families.

 

The data comes from more than 60,000 confidential client surveys and 32,000 surveys completed by Feeding America network food banks and their partner agencies. Locally, 245 eligible agencies in the Gleaners network completed online surveys (a response rate of 82%). Gleaners staff and volunteers visited 88 agency program sites across our 21-county service area, where 733 eligible clients were sampled and 53% responded to the survey.