Many people in the country face hunger. People seeking resources for food are often also in need of access to healthy food. According to Feeding America (www.feedingamericaaction.org), 12.8% of Lawrence County residents were food insecure in 2018. As a result of the pandemic and its resulting economic impact that number has increased. Feeding America anticipates that more than 54 million Americans, including 18 million children, will experience food insecurity as a result of COVID-19. Furthermore, they project that Lawrence County’s food insecurity rate will increase to 18.4% in 2020
In order to help people with limited resources access healthy food the Indiana State Department of Health administers the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Through this program, Lawrence County residents over 60 and qualified individuals with disabilities can qualify for a $20 voucher to use at the Bedford Farmers Market to purchase fruits and vegetables. Wendy McQueen at St. Vincent Acension distributes the vouchers and can be reached at email@example.com or 812-276-1088.
Another offering in Lawrence County for fresh produce is a monthly farmers market at Cambridge Square, Bedford. In collaboration with a grant funded by Glick Philanthropies, Cambridge Square residents attend nutrition classes to earn a $20 voucher to use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. The first market was held on Aug. 19 with others planned to take place through the remainder of the summer.
Finally, Lawrence County residents have access to free virtual nutrition education lessons available through the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program. Adults, children and families can learn skills that can be used at home and every day, including planning meals, grocery shopping on a budget, cooking tips, and simple solutions for healthy eating and physical activity. To learn more about the lessons contact JJ Goldsberry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lessons can be taught in groups through organizations like the schools or on an individual basis.
Annie Eakin, MS, is the Community Wellness Coordinator serving Lawrence, Monroe and Brown counties. Learn more about the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program at www.eatgathergo.org.