More Michiana families seeking help in 2023
ELKHART, Ind.-- More families are in need across Michiana.
It's a result of a combination of factors, but overall, COVID-19 programs have dried up, inflation is up, so more families are in need. On top of that, fewer families and even companies are able to donate.
"Increased need and really with decreased resources,” said Marijo Martinec, executive director and CEO of Food Bank of Northern Indiana. “So, you know, all those COVID programs that people had over the past couple years have all finally sunset, and we've got inflation, so trying to do more with less right now."
She says since the pandemic, she's seen more young people seeking out service from the food bank, as well as senior citizens.
But across the six-county service area, there's been a roughly 30 percent increase in families served since last year. The exact numbers are shown in this graphic.
The food bank operates a network of 114 partner agencies.
“Our agency partners are seeing that increased need as well,” said Martinec. “So, it's not just the food bank. It's collectively; we are seeing that increased need."
Joshua Hubbard, the Corps Officer at Salvation Army Elkhart, said there are plenty of new families seeking assistance this year that have never done so in the past.
He says this year, they've assisted 950 new families.
"What we have noticed is that there's not as much money circulating our economy these days,” Hubbard said. “We've seen an increased need in assistance, we've seen new families who have never needed assistance before coming to us. But on the other end of that, we're also seeing companies and donors also being hit with the economic turbulence."
If you donate to the Salvation Army somewhere within the City of Elkhart Nov. 28-29, The Glass Doctor will match every donation, one dollar for every dollar, up to $5,000.
Meanwhile, over the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, headquartered in South Bend, every one dollar donated can provide up to five meals or eight pounds of food.