When COVID-19 reached central Indiana this spring, the virus impacted everyone in different ways. For many, it meant cancelled plans and working remotely. For others it led to a loss of income or worsening health challenges. For some, this pandemic has exacerbated the already difficult challenge of being food insecure – and it caused even more people to lose access to food.
One of Second Helpings’ greatest concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic has been for those Hoosiers who are homebound and unable to access the food assistance they need.
We’ve transitioned from making congregate-style meals to individually- and family-portioned meals, but there was still more to do. We needed a way to find out who needed meals – as well as finding a way to get the meals directly to their homes.
Through a new program with community partners Indy Hunger Network, Gleaners, and Nine13sports, Second Helpings is now able to deliver prepared, nutritious meals to individual households that lack the resources or ability to obtain the food they need.
When individuals call the shared community hotline, they’re connected with the food resources that best fit their specific needs.
The stories we’ve heard from those callers have been powerful reminders of how important our work to feed Indy is – and how much more there is to do.
For many callers, a prepared meal delivery from Second Helpings is a literal lifeline – for homeless, disabled veterans who have no way to prepare meals, for families living in hotels without appliances, for people quarantined with COVID-19 who can’t leave the house.
For one 95-year old woman, the greatest challenge she faced was her limited mobility. She wasn’t able to prepare or access food on her own. When she called the community hotline, she mentioned that she had only been drinking orange juice as sustenance.
For these Hoosiers, and so many more, this home delivery program provided thousands of Second Helpings meals that otherwise would not have existed.
This program is not something we would’ve thought possible before the pandemic – but with the growing need across our community, we knew it was necessary to look closer to find the individuals and families who needed our help.
Several months into this crisis and so many things continue to change. Still, we know two things for sure:
First, this growing need isn’t disappearing any time soon. While there was certainly a need for food before COVID-19, we know the economic impacts of this pandemic will be here for years to come.
Second, we know that with your support, Second Helpings is able to step up to feed Indy and meet this need. We may need to continue new programs longer than expected, or adapt in ways we haven’t even imagined yet, but we are committed to continue transforming lives through the power of food.
We can’t answer those calls for meals without you, though. Will you step up to feed Indy with us? Learn more about what your gift makes possible at secondhelpings.org.