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Fighting Poverty in Indiana by Challenging and Listening

October 27, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - With one in five Hoosier children living in poverty, efforts are under way to better understand and combat the issue.

David Sklar, president of Indianapolis' Jewish Community Relations Council, says there's a need for children in poverty to eat better...

"We really need to make sure that kids are getting good nutrition and getting healthy products and not just living off of chips and soda and peanut butter and jelly and things like that."

Sklar is helping organize Indiana's food-stamp challenge, where people are urged to try and spend only $31.50 on a full week of meals. Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana's Hungry, the state's food-bank association, is taking part in the challenge.

"Some of the folks that are engaging in this food stamp challenge with us have done a little research and are sharing some recipes and some shopping lists and things like that. Frankly, I'm not at all much of a cook, so it will be interesting for me to see what happens."

All Hoosiers can help fight hunger in Indiana, says Weikert Bryant.

"Donating either your time, your resources, or your food to a food bank or a local pantry. There are 11 member food banks, and you can see from our website, which is feedingindianashungry.org."

She says the organization serves food pantries in all 92 Indiana counties.

Indiana's Commission on Childhood Poverty, chaired by Dean Michael Patchner of the Indiana University School of Social Work, is working toward an end-of-the-year final report, according to Josephine Hughes, executive director of the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

"The goal of the commission is to bring public and private entities together and reduce childhood poverty by 50 percent by 2020."

More information on the challenge is online at feedingindianashungry.org.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN