Food insecurity on the rise in Allen County

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:27 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Allen County, like many other areas, has an issue with food insecurity, but when Covid-19 came it got much worse. Though the pandemic is over, the number of hungry families has actually gone up.

Officials with The United Way of Allen County say food banks are having a harder time keeping their shelves stocked. Over the past years the face of hunger has changed.

“There’s a growing senior population that are food insecure, just because of fixed incomes. Younger families that are in lower wage jobs that are struggling to make ends meet, putting food on the table is a challenge for them. So, we’re seeing some changes of the demographics, but the need is definitely going up,” says United Way of Allen County VP of Community Impact, Tiffany Bailey.

Grocery prices have increased the past two years making things even harder. During Covid-19 those with SNAP benefits and food stamps got additional federal benefits, but now those are gone, and prices remain high.

For those in need of food it can be scary and confusing on where to get help, but one number is always there for Hoosiers.

“The easiest way to know what food is out there is to call 211, that goes to Indiana 211. It’s a 24/7 health and human services hotline that induvials can call for any kind of assistance they need, food being one of them,” explains Bailey.

Calling 211 is free and confidential with a live person always on the other line. If you or someone you know is struggling don’t be afraid to reach out.