WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Community Foundation has awarded Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry a grant totaling $5,000 through the Kosciusko REMC Operation Round Up Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation, to fund processing fees on donated large game and livestock.
“We are very excited about our ‘Meat’ the Need program,” said Debra Treesh, executive director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. “We are pleased that this Foundation is continually making an investment in our community.”
These funds will be used to assist Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry in paying processing fees for donations of large game and livestock. Founded in 2011, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry encourages the donation of large game and livestock to the “Meat” the Need program, raises financial support to pay processing fees on these donations, and gives this nutritious meat to hunger relief agencies within Indiana.
Hunters and farmers may donate at no cost to them (and farmers may write off fair market value on taxes), by taking large game or livestock to a participating meat processor in their area. The donation will be processed, packaged in one to two pound packages, and frozen or canned. Local hunger relief agencies will be contacted for pick up and distribution of this nutritious protein back into the community in which it was donated. The individuals and families that Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry serves are reached through food banks and other hunger relief agencies whose services are strictly for low income and poor populations.
“The grant provided by the Foundation will pay for approximately 3,700 pounds of donated large game and livestock within Kosciusko County, which will then be distributed to area hunger relief agencies — providing almost 15,000 meals to residents in need within our communities,” said Treesh.
Even as the economy is improving, many hardworking Hoosiers are still living paycheck to paycheck. Indiana residents who must regularly choose between paying bills and buying groceries continue to struggle to stay afloat but become even more in debt. In Indiana, approximately one out of every four households with children report an inability to afford enough food to feed their family. Those affected by food insecurity are often at high risk for obesity and diet-related diseases due to the lack of quality in the foods that they can afford.
Protein, one of the most important nutrients for brain and body development in children and young adults, is also the hardest commodity for food banks to obtain. Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry assists in meeting basic needs within each county it serves. By assisting individuals and families that are struggling with this situation, the organization gives families the ability to avoid hunger and not have to choose between bills and groceries — allowing those aging and vulnerable populations to get back on track to hunger free, independent living.
In the last six years, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry has helped distribute over 1,071,000 pounds of meat to Indiana food banks, providing approximately 4.3 million meals to Hoosiers in need.
“To date, we have 83 participating meat processors working within 85 counties in Indiana to ensure residents in need are served,” said Amber Zecca, fund development director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. “Currently, we partner with the Bales Butcher Shop, Hallmark Custom Meats, D & D Meat Processing, Food Bank of Northern Indiana and numerous hunger relief agencies, to provide this nutritious meat within Kosciusko County.”