FORT WAYNE – Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana in Fort Wayne and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana in South Bend are combining forces to host a Hunger Summit.
On Wednesday, a panel of area experts will address the issue of hunger in our region, identifying its causes, impact and solutions.
The panel will include U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, the Budget Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee serving as chairman of its Economic Opportunities subcommittee; Hodge Patel, district director for U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, who serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Financial Services Committee; state Rep. Kathy Heuer, R-Columbia City, who serves on the state Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development, Education, and Local Government committees; Doug Keenan, who is a Purdue extension educator; Beth Bechdol, director of agribusiness strategies for Ice Miller; and Matt Bell, president of Ivy Tech Corporate College.
Jane Avery, executive director of Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, and Milton Lee, executive director of Food Bank of Northern Indiana, will start the dialogue by looking at the current state of hunger in our region. Several other area experts have yet to be confirmed.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to participate; the event is from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Biomet, 56 E. Bell Drive in Warsaw.
We hope to use this opportunity as a means to educate the public on issues related to hunger in northern Indiana and to share ideas seeking solutions to help feed the growing number of northern Indiana Hoosiers, nearly half of which are children, and do not know where their next meal will come from, Avery said.
Community Harvest Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in northeast Indiana, annually distributing nearly 11 million pounds of food.
In 2011, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana distributed nearly 6 million pounds of food to 185 agencies in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Starke and St. Joseph counties.