Indiana residents who need help feeding their families during the COVID-19 pandemic will have greater access to assistance from food banks and pantries through a Disaster Household Distribution program approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
The disaster distribution program uses commodity foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is administered by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and is effective from today through May 14, 2020. The goal is to increase access to food assistance to those in need. Priority will be given to Hoosiers who are suffering significant economic losses.
During the COVID-19 response, food banks and partner agencies have largely shifted to drive-through distributions. Through the DHD program, current TEFAP food banks will use the network of new and existing mobile pantries to distribute food packages to families in need. It is anticipated a total of 250 sites, including mobile pantries, will assist with food distribution throughout the state, primarily in rural areas. Marion County will use Indianapolis Public School buses, community centers and a drive-through location at Gleaners Food Bank to ensure that families have easy access to food resources.
Each household receiving food through this program can receive one prepackaged 25-pound box that includes a variety of foods, including, but not limited to, canned and packaged fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, noodles, beans, nuts, juices and meats. If frozen and/or refrigerated storage is available at a site, those items also will be distributed.
Individuals should contact their local food bank or pantry to determine whether they are participating in the DHD program. For additional information, please visit wic.in.gov or find a food pantry near you by using Indiana’s food assistance map.