LIGONIER, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Community Foundation of Noble County recently awarded Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry a grant for $5,000 to be used to serve Noble County residents. These funds will help Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry pay processing fees for large game and livestock donations within Noble County. The processed meat will then be given to area hunger-relief agencies.
Founded in 2011, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry asks area hunters and farmers to take their large game or livestock to a participating meat processor. The donation will be processed, packaged and frozen at no cost (plus, farmers may write off the fair market value on their taxes). Local hunger-relief agencies will be contacted for pick up and distribution of this nutritious protein back into the community. “We are very excited about our “Meat” the Need program, “said Debra Treesh, Executive Director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, “and we’re pleased that the Foundation is continually willing to make an investment in the community.”
The group reminds that lack of food does not only affect the homeless or unemployed. They say that even though the economy may be showing signs of improvement, many hardworking Hoosiers are still living paycheck to paycheck, regularly having to choose between paying bills, obtaining medicine or buying groceries. In these homes, an unexpected bill of any sort (like a major car repair or medical bill) can throw an already tight budget into a downward spiral. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, 31% of working Indiana residents who are food insecure do not qualify for food-assistance programs. These residents have to turn to charitable food assistance networks such as food banks, pantries, hunger ministries, etc… And the hardest commodity for food banks to obtain? Protein, a nutrient that is part of every cell in your body and vital to brain/body development.
“The grant provided by the Community Foundation will pay to process about 3,700 pounds of donated large game and livestock, which will then be distributed to area hunger-relief agencies – providing almost 15,000 meals to residents in need within our communities,” said Treesh.
In the last seven years, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry reports that they have helped to distribute approximately 1.2 million pounds of meat to Indiana food banks, providing over 4.8 million meals to Hoosiers in need. “To date, we have 83 participating meat processors working within 85 counties in Indiana to aid us in our mission and to ensure residents in need are served,” shared Amber Zecca, Fund Development Director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. “In Noble County, we are partnering with LaOtto Meats, D & D Meat Processing, Community Harvest Food Bank, and other local hunger-relief agencies to ensure residents have access to this nutritious protein.
On average, the cost of this donated meat is about $1.30 per pound, which is less than $.30 per meal.