Food insecure in Huntington now have more options

Huntington Food Cabinet
Huntington Food Cabinet(WPTA)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Leaders with the Indiana Dream Center say more people in Huntington are struggling to find where their next meal will come from.

Michelle Crone, Executive Director with IDC, says she’s noticed more people needing help since the start of the pandemic, and with rising costs, she says the problem is worse.

“Over the last couple of years, we know that there are individuals out there that struggle with income. That struggle to get the food that they need, money to be able to pay rent, all kinds of things,” Crone says.

According to the USDA, some Huntington residents live in a food desert, meaning it’s more difficult to find healthy and affordable food.

RELATED: See which areas are designated as Food Deserts by the SAVI Community Information System

Crone says, right now, Huntington has two grocery stores, both more than a mile from downtown, making it difficult for some people to get groceries.

Crone says, “We do have several senior living apartments down here in Downtown Huntington. If they’re in a wheelchair or something like that, they can have challenges getting to those places.”

So, the folks from the IDC decided to help as best they can, by installing two food cabinets, available 24 hours a day. One on Jefferson Street and one on Etna Avenue just south of downtown.

“There is no longer a grocery store on the south side of Huntington, Crone says. “So, placing that cabinet was strategic for those individuals that maybe need to walk to that location, but now they do have something to fulfill their immediate need. “

The cabinets are take what you need and give what you can, and we found a man who donated on the first day.

Kenneth Black, the man who donated says, “I only live a couple of houses down over here. So, we came over and looked in here to see what was in there and there wasn’t hardly anything. So, I went back home and got like four bags of stuff to put over here.”{}

Black says he knows people in his life who need assistance, saying “They need help, struggling and have children and everything. The problem is some of the people go to jail and stuff and then they’re incarcerated and can’t take care of their families, and they need help because they’re still on the streets.”

“If we can help in any way, the food pantries help alleviate that issue of finding food so that their funding and resources can go to other bills,” Crone says.

The Indiana Dream Center say they plan to install two more cabinets throughout the county, one in Warren and the other in Markle.