September is Hunger Action Month. Our original intent was to spend the month highlighting hunger in our communities, encouraging advocacy and volunteerism, and asking for your generosity to help us provide more produce to hungry Hoosiers.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a different plan. Like the rest of the country, we’ve been asked to mobilize supplies for disaster relief in Texas and Florida. Florida, in particular, may post longer term “emergency” issues due to the extended power outages.
While our primary focus remains feeding the hungry in our 21-county service area, a broader focus for action and gifts during this time will allow us not just to purchase and distribute produce, but also to respond to disasters locally, regionally, and nationally as appropriate.
As a member of the Feeding America network of food banks, we mobilize in times of need with a focus on disaster recovery and rebuilding. Five truckloads have gone to Houston already. By the time you receive this letter, another 5 will be on their way. We’re also staging trucks for supplies for Florida. This need is in addition to the daily, mission-focused work we do to serve hungry children, families, seniors and veterans right here at home.
Needless to say, both our staff and our financial resources are being stretched.
It is important to remember that disaster strikes right here at home every day: job loss; illness or injury; death in the family; home foreclosures. All of these impact far too many Hoosiers leading to the increasing lines we see at our pantries and distributions. Like the rest of the country, we’re focused on the disasters in the south and west. But we mustn’t lose sight of our friends and neighbors right here at home who may be dealing with their own personal disasters.
There are times when we are asked to open our arms a little wider. This is one of those times.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Gleaners and our mission to lead the fight against hunger.