United Way of Hancock County has announced the availability of funding for programs and services assisting individuals and families in Hancock County who regularly face food insecurity issues. These funds are made available from the Halt Hunger Initiative.
Any organization in Hancock County with a 501 charity status, faith-based organizations and schools clearly demonstrating the correlation of their programs or services with the Halt Hunger Initiative goals may apply for grants for $2,500 to $75,000 for a one-year cycle which begins in January 2014.
In 2012, the amount granted from the Halt Hunger Initiative totaled $139,626. The United Way of Hancock County has committed $200,000 per year for five years, to eradicate hunger in Hancock County.
Food insecurity, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture, is the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.
Those who are food insecure will often have to make choices between buying food and paying for utilities, buying medication or other necessities on a regular or reoccurring basis.
In 2010, Feedingamerica.org released statistics indicating 12,000 residents, or one out of every seven individuals, in Hancock County deal with food insecurity on a regular basis.
With this compelling information, United Way of Hancock County established the Halt Hunger Initiative in late 2011 and created a grant pool to fund nonprofits focused on serving the food insecure and promoting food security. The overreaching goal of this initiative is to eradicate food insecurity in Hancock County by 2016.
The goals are as follows:
1. Support local food programs and providers in their efforts to provide nutritious food to individuals and families in need of food assistance
2. Assure all those in need have access to food assistance programs.
3. Develop and implement long-term plans for food acquisition, storage capacity and distribution capacity.
4. Educate and equip individuals and families to be food secure.
For more information about the work of United Way contact the office at 419-423-1432.