INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indiana ministry is making sure hungry families get fed during a time when they say the need is the greatest.
Indiana’s State Association of Food Banks, also known as Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, did a study four years ago. It found that nearly 700,000 people get help through food banks in the state. When it conducted the study this year, that number rose to 1.1 million people.
In 2010, 46 percent of those surveyed said that at least once during that year they had to choose between buying food or paying a utility bill. In 2014, it jumped to 77 percent.
The kitchen is a busy place for Shayla Green. A single mother of three, she does her best to put food on the table. She said she needs a food pantry’s help once a month and keeping the fridge stocked isn’t easy.
Thankfully a little help was waiting right outside her front door.
“I came downstairs and there was a lot of people that came to my door with like plates of food,” she described.
The group was from the Bethel Community Outreach Team. It was handing out meals throughout neighborhoods on the city’s east side.
“That was just amazing,” said Green. “I was just blown away to see all those people with plates of food trying to help.”
Her four plates were part of about 500 hundred passed throughout the community Sunday.
That’s on top of the dozens of meals that families shared together at ministry’s fifth annual Thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon.
“They just know that we’re here for them, whatever they need,” said Celeste Meyer, volunteer organizer with the team.
The servings were generous, not just in size, but in spirit.
“These are wonderful people. They’re wonderful children. They just need. They maybe don’t work, they maybe can’t find a job. They just need a little help and I believe that that’s what we’re supposed to do,” said Meyer.
“It looks really good. Looks like they put their heart and soul into it,” Green said with a smile as she looked at the Thanksgiving plates sitting on her counter.
Heart and soul were ingredients the hard working mom couldn’t be more thankful for this season.
“Just seeing people that’s willing to give us as helping hand is truly a blessing,” Green said. “That just lets me know that there are people that still out here that care.”
The Bethel Community Outreach team is always looking for more volunteers and donations. If you’d like to help, you can call (317) 607-4289 or email the organization at director, Justin Graves, at Justin@bcoutreach.org.
Also helping with the hunger cause on Sunday was the Indianapolis Colts. Before the game, volunteers outside each gate collected non-perishable food items for Gleaners Food Bank. Fans who donated received a limited edition poster featuring members of the Colts.