Food insecurity exists in every county and congressional district in the United States. But not everyone struggling with hunger qualifies for food nutrition assistance. That’s where Rising Up steps in. According to Feeding American, there are 3,080 food insecure individuals in Morgan County. We currently serve about ¼ of these individuals in any given month. Rising up doesn’t just feed the problem, we have programs and services in place to help educate people and lend a helping hand until recipients are back on their feet. Rising Up has been serving our hungry and homeless neighbors since 2015. From delivering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the back of our vehicles to serving 773 individuals per month through the Client Choice Pantry, we are meeting the needs in the community feeding our neighbors who experience food insecurity.
Client Choice Food Pantry
The Client Choice Food Pantry is an innovative approach to providing food to our hungry neighbors. Client Choice is just what it sounds like. Clients can go through the pantry and select their own food instead of receiving a pre-packed or standard box of groceries. They are not given items they already have, do not like, or cannot eat for health or personal reasons. They choose for themselves what products they receive. The idea is to serve our hungry neighbors in a way that gives them a sense of dignity and control, limits waste (since they tend not to take food they won’t use), and allows them to tailor the help they receive to be the best possible fit for their own unique situation.
The Client Choice Pantry serves as a stop-gap measure to help families and individuals access food when they are unable to get food from traditional programs and agencies in the community. Currently Rising Up is providing food for over 725 individuals in Morgan County monthly. In addition to the Food Pantry, Rising Up has been able to provide 895 hot meals to clients through the Warming Center.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a USDA program designed to improve the health of low-income people at least 60 years of age, by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods. Eligible seniors receive a monthly food box consisting of non-perishable protein, milk (powdered or UHT), juice, cereal, canned or dried fruits and vegetables, refrigerated cheese nutrition education and recipes are also included in the food boxes. Rising Up serves as a host site and to assist in outreach, certification and distribution of CSFP food boxes monthly to ensure no senior goes hungry.
Seniors and Choice
If you ask the average person on the street, “who do you think uses food pantries?” the reply will most likely be “Welfare Moms who are not married with lots of children”. On the contrary, seniors are now the most likely group to use pantries. Most pantries report over 30% of the users to be seniors (mainly older women who have become widowed) and this follows the most recent population counts that show seniors will soon be the largest demographic group in the nation.
Other seniors using pantries are those assuming the financial responsibility for their grandchildren. States one grandmother from Indianapolis, “I make $7.00 an hour, and with all my bills and my car payments and food and clothes and babysitter for my 2 young grandkids, and because I can’t get food stamps, I go to the food pantry.”
Food Pantry Hours
• Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 1pm – 4pm
• Tuesday: 3pm – 5pm
Want to Help?
For those who would like to support Rising Up’s efforts, donations of food and money can be taken to Rising Up during the above hours. Donations are always welcome and appreciated. Food insecurity is a very real problem for many people in our community. We are glad that we can Rise Up to offer an innovative way to help. See our Donate Page to see how you can help