FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — With kids going back to school, they can look forward to spending time in the lunchroom, spending time with classmates and swapping food for their favorite treats.
With free and reduced lunch options, one might assume that the school year takes some burden off food-insecure families, but one local foodbank said it won’t change the high demand.
“I wouldn’t say there is any difference right now with back to school,” said Melissa Hoover, the Agency Relations/Government Programs Supervisor at Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana.
Community Harvest points toward economic factors that are keeping their demand high regardless of whether students are getting help with meals at school.
“With inflation and everything going on in the community, we’re not seeing a difference, the need is there regardless,” Hoover said. “We’re still at COVID numbers, technically I believe we are 9.8% over what our COVID numbers were … Right now, it’s hitting everyone so they’re coming in our doors.”
The demand and economic pressure put on the food-insecure people that Community Harvest serves means they are looking for as many donations as they can get right now.
Beyond monetary and food donations, they are also looking for volunteers.
“We don’t have enough hands on deck, even volunteers right now are a real struggle for us,” Hoover said.
You can find ways to donate and help on Community Harvest Food Bank’s website.