VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Startling new numbers show the poverty level across the Hoosier state is increasing and it’s happening in your back yard.
An alarming number of kids in the Wabash Valley only get one meal a day but that is the reality for many kids especially right here in Vigo County.
More than 5,700 Vigo County kids are growing-up in a food insecure home.
Many of those kids are part of the Free and Reduced Lunch program and 63-percent of elementary kids in Vigo County utilize that program. That’s higher than the state average!
Almost 7 out of 10 kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are going to school hungry and the numbers are only getting worse.
Tom Lentes, Food Services Coordinator for the Vigo County School Corporation says, “We are not getting better, our free and reduced lunches have increased. I’ve been here for 4-years. Each year we’ve increased a couple percentage points over where we were previously. So I see that creeping up which has been the trend for Indiana.”
Lentes says a lot of young parents are struggling in Vigo County.
Plus the number of young families is increasing in Terre Haute.
That’s why Lentes says it’s so important to keep programs like the Back Pack program alive.
If you are a struggling parent and need help feeding your child this summer call Tom Lentes at (812) 462-4245 or United Way of the Wabash Valley at (812) 235-6287.