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How to help Louisville and Southern Indiana neighbors in need this Thanksgiving

Hannah Busing on Unsplash

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, food assistance organizations in Jefferson County are seeking donations to help meet the need. 

Food insecurity in Louisville is now higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to data from the Greater Louisville Project. Their report released in September found that about 100,000 residents experienced food insecurity last year. 

From 2014 to 2019, food insecurity decreased as wages rose. But the number of residents in need spiked during the pandemic, and with inflation and increased cost of living impacting families across the county, the need isn’t diminishing. 

Alexus Richardson, director of communications for Dare to Care Food Bank, said food insecurity doesn’t discriminate.

“It affects people who are everyday, working class people,” she said. “It affects people like seniors. One in eight seniors are facing food insecurity right now.”

Dare to Care has more than 300 partners in the Kentuckiana region, including food pantries, emergency shelters and faith communities. Dare to Care collects food donations from individuals, businesses and farms, and distributes those donations to its partner agencies.

Many food pantries in Louisville provide special meal packages to families in need on Thanksgiving. 

The Salvation Army of Louisville is currently accepting donations for its turkey drive and is looking for volunteers to help feed folks on Thanksgiving day. After taking several years off due to the pandemic, Central Louisville Community Ministries is accepting monetary donations to cover the increased cost of turkeys for its Great Turkey Giveaway. 

While many people feel the urge to give around the holidays, Richardson said it’s important to note that families are experiencing food insecurity year-round. She said nonprofits and food pantries are always in need of donations and volunteers.

“We are solely dependent on volunteers and so are many of our partners,” Richardson said. “Our mobile panties, those operate because of our volunteers. They are the ones serving the food to our neighborhoods in need.”

Here are some local organizations providing meals to people experiencing food insecurity:

Salvation Army of Louisville

911 South Brook St.

(502) 671-4900

Central Louisville Community Ministries

809 South 4th St.  (inside First Unitarian Church)

(502) 587-1999

Portland’s Food Pantry

3713 West Market St.

(502) 778-3641

Highlands Community Ministries

1228 East Breckinridge St.

(502) 451-3695

Center For Lay Ministries

213 East Maple St., Jeffersonville, Indiana 

(812) 282-0063

Interfaith Community Council

1200 Bono Rd., New Albany, Indiana

(812) 948-9248

You can also go online to search for Dare to Care partner pantries near you or call 211 for Metro United Way’s information and referral service.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.

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