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Indiana House delivers on pledge to assist local food banks
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Indiana House delivers on pledge to assist local food banks

Indiana House delivers on pledge to assist local food banks

State Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville, left, and state Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point, volunteer at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana in Merrillville recently as part of the Indiana House's annual bipartisan community service project.

Members of the Indiana House raised more than $7,500 and collected more than 1,100 food items during this year's legislative session to donate to Feeding Indiana's Hungry, an association of 11 Hoosier food banks, including the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

State representatives also volunteered at local food banks as part of the House's 11th consecutive joint service project for Republican and Democratic lawmakers, a tradition begun in 2011 by retired House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.

In Merrillville, state Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville, and state Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point, recently spent a day helping pack food items into boxes and load the boxes into the vehicles of food-insecure Hoosiers visiting the Region's food bank.

"Local food banks like the one here in Northwest Indiana do a phenomenal job collecting and providing necessary items for Hoosiers in need," Olthoff said.

"Thankfully, with the help from food banks and Feeding Indiana's Hungry, meals are being donated in large numbers to support struggling individuals and families throughout the state."

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana serves Lake and Porter counties. Its most needed items include macaroni and cheese, canned proteins and peanut butter.

Ride along with LaPorte Police Specialist Justin Dyer as he patrols the streets of LaPorte.

Individuals seeking assistance, or looking to donate or volunteer, can find more information online at foodbanknwi.org.

"If you have any free time throughout the week or extra food in your pantry, volunteering at a nearby food bank or donating canned goods and other non-perishable items are great ways to help your community," Slager said.

The Indiana General Assembly last month also increased the state appropriation for Indiana food banks to $1 million a year in 2022 and 2023, up from $300,000 a year in the current 2020-21 state budget.

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