SOUTH BEND Thursday, September 4, is Hunger Action Day, part of the larger campaign, Hunger Action Month. The food Bank of Northern Indiana encourages everyone to wear orange to start a conversation about the growing need in the Hoosier State and across the country.
In honor of the effort, a local man shared his story with 16 Morning News. After 15 years in retail, Joe Perdue lost his job in 2009. He decided to go back to school, but his student loans weren't enough to get him by. Perdue relied on the Food Bank for three years to keep food on his table.
"I was unable to qualify for any other government program. So, without the food bank I wouldn't have been able to eat at all," said Perdue.
Now, Perdue gives back to the same organization that kept him alive, acknowledging this situation can happen to anyone.
"Without the food bank, I wouldn't have been able to have food. It came down to a choice of paying rent or buying food. Rent won out," said Perdue. "Sometimes it's only a paycheck away."
The Food Bank of Northern Indiana serves six counties and offers pantry services several times a month. Associate Director, Marijo Martinec says the need is constant, including one in four children who struggle with hunger.
"Nearly 17% of the people who live here are food insecure. That means they may not know where their next meal's coming from," said Martinec. "The need continues to be really great here throughout Northern Indiana and really many areas across the country."
The Food Bank of Nothern Indiana hopes people will go "orange" for the cause throughout the month of September. They encourage people to use the hashtag #HungerAction on social media. They are also hosting several other events in honor of the cause.
South Bend Zombie Walk, Sept. 6
Noon-9p.m. at Howard Park in South Bend
Free Admission and family friendly
Non-perishable food and monetary donations will benefit the Food Bank
Mash the Creek, Sep. 20
5.5K and 10K Trail Run
Potato Creek State Park
Benefits Food Bank's Food 4 Kids Fun Packs Program
Blood Drive, Sep. 23
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
South Bend Medical Foundation on-site at Food Bank
(574) 232-9986 ext. 124 for more information