Hunger in Indiana

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Gleaners, through its network of 250 charitable hunger relief agencies, is providing food assistance to more than 260,000 people—or 1 in 8 Hoosiers throughout its 21-county service area in central and southeast Indiana.

Nearly half of those served are children (97,000) and seniors (31,000).

Among all clients, 66% are white, 22% are black, and 6% are Latino.


  • 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.
  • 40% of the persons with the longest employment duration in their household work 30 hours or less per week.
  • 29% of client households include grandparents who have responsibility for grandchildren who live with them, a potential barrier to employment for those households.
  • 70% Below or At Poverty Level


  • 9% of adult clients are currently in school, either full- or part-time.
  • Among all households, 41% have had to choose between paying for food and educational expenses.
  • 48% of adult clients have attained a high school degree or GED and 23% have post-high school educations (license or certification, some college, a two-year or four-year degree).


Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:

  • 81% report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation
    • 51% of these households are making the choice every month
  • 78% report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care
    • 46% of these households are making the choice every month
  • 77% report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities
    • 37% of these households are making the choice every month
  • 65% report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing
    • 36% of these households are making the choice every month


  • 17% of households served by the Gleaners network have at least one member that has ever served in the military
  • 4% of households have at least one member who is currently serving in the military
  • 25% of military households in the United States are served by the Feeding America network (1)


  • 34% of client households have a member(s) with diabetes
  • Over half of client households (61%) have a member(s) with high blood pressure
  • 90% of client 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 household


  • More than half of all Gleaners network agencies (55%) are operated solely by volunteers
  • A majority of Gleaners network agencies (68 percent) are faith-based or located in a religious institution
  • Hunger in America 2014 is the largest, most comprehensive study ever conducted on domestic hunger-relief efforts.

The report chronicles data collected across the United States through 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 on-line surveys, a response rate of 82%
Gleaners’ staff and volunteers visited 88 agency program sites across the food bank’s 21-county service area where 733 eligible clients were sampled and 53 percent responded to the client survey

Hunger in America 2014 uses rigorous academic research standards and was conducted by Westat, recognized as one of the foremost research and statistical survey organizations in the United States. This study was also peer reviewed by a technical advisory team including researchers from American University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Urban Institute

Access the full national report on after August 18, 2014

(1) Military is defined as the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and their Reserve Components. According to the United States Department of Defense the total number of military personnel in 2012 was 2,516,324. This includes 54,768 dual-military marriages, resulting in a conservative estimate of 2,461,556 military households. The percentage of families with a current military service member served by FA is calculated by dividing the number of client households that contain a current service member (620,000) by the total sum of military and reserve service member households (2,461,556) Source: United States Department of Defense. 2012 Demographics Report: Profile of the Military Community. Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy. 2012

Get a more in-depth look at Hunger in Indiana.