The below was written by Joni Hurst, Food Programs Coordinator at Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

Food insecurity on the southwest side of Indianapolis is an ever growing situation. Any given Wednesday, if you were to walk into the door of our center you would see a crowd of neighbors waiting for their turn to go into our Market Food Pantry. Families living in our service area are welcome to visit the Market once each month, and each week we provide at least 45 families with food; most weeks it’s more.

My goal is to provide each client with a meat product, bread, produce, canned goods, drinks, and other household items. No one living in our service area is turned away. As more neighbors are in need of our services, the amount of food donations becomes increasingly more needed. Even with the generous support of Gleaners Food Bank and MidWest Food Bank, we can hardly keep up with the need.

Many people may see a box of food as just FOOD. I see a smile on an elderly women’s face as she gives me a hug while telling me she wouldn’t know what to do if our food market wasn’t available. I see a mom and dad with grateful tears knowing they can feed their kids. I see the single dad working for minimum wage, doing whatever he can to raise his son. I see the grandmother who just got custody of her 8 year old granddaughter and doesn’t want to have to choose between her granddaughter’s need for new shoes and the need the eat.

It’s outside that box of food where the difference is made, where hope begins. Hunger has no age, no race, no religion and increasingly no zip code. Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center is committed to fighting this tough challenge by providing children, seniors, and families with food weekly. Help us fight hunger one donation at a time.