INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Six IMPD-designated focus areas account for a disproportionate amount of violent crime that happens in Indianapolis.
Those six areas, from the east side to the west side, accounted for 30% of the murders last year and 45% of the shootings this year, while housing just a fraction of the city’s population.
For the second year in a row, IMPD and Gleaners have teamed up to put the Care Mobile Food Pantry on the road, visiting six neighborhoods five days a week all summer long in the hope that full bellies lead to less crime.
“The truth is, one in three children in our city today are worried about where their next meal is coming from,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett at the kick off of this summer’s mobile pantry at Mt. Zion Apostolic Church on East 38th Street. “That is a number that is simply unacceptable. While we are working on long term solutions for our city, our children and their families cannot wait.”
Last year the pantry served 62,000 people, nearly half of them children.
“There’s going to be some health screenings, health information, there’s going to be mental health information,” said Cindy Hubert, Gleaners CEO and President, “and based on a thought by Dr.Lewis Ferebee, superintendent of IPS schools, who said the children lose reading capability over the summer, so we’re going to provide a book exchange and vocabulary cards so the children can get engaged.”
IMPD Chief Troy Riggs believes that by putting food on the table, the pantry partners can help relieve the anxiety that feeds some of the crime plaguing Indianapolis’ toughest neighborhoods.
“Because of Gleaners work over the last year, more and more people that are showing up to get food and interact with our employees are starting to call police and share information,” said Riggs. “They’re starting to know they have a very important role in solving crimes in our community.”