INDIANAPOLIS — Inflation and gas prices mean more Hoosier families are feeling stretched thin. Food banks and second-hand stores are seeing an increase in foot traffic but fewer donations. 

It’s no surprise families are trying to make decisions about balancing the cost of their utilities, rent increases, gas prices and groceries.

“Everyone is feeling a pinch,” said Marcie Luhigo, executive director of Midwest Food Bank.

Many of them are turning to food banks, like Midwest Food Bank, for help. The food bank says their partner agencies are reporting in some areas the need has risen by 28 percent.

They’re working around the clock to secure more food to distribute to Hoosiers around Indiana, but donations have slowed.

“Our partner agencies are reporting that in some areas the need has risen by up to 28 percent, I would say across the state the average is 25 percent,” Luhigo said.

In addition to rising prices at the grocery stores, gas prices are presenting big challenges for the food bank. 

“Even sometimes things given to us for free, we have to go pick it up,” Luhigo said. “So every time we fill up a semi with gas to go pick up those items — it’s an extra $500, and we could fill up our semi five days a week.”

Midwest Food Bank is asking for Hoosiers to step up and donate their time, food, or money. In fact, a one dollar donation can be turned into $30 of food for folks in the community. 

“We’re also very much in need of volunteers, so whether you have the ability to come here once a week or once a month or come with a group that is like your book club, your church group or it’s a group you work with and maybe your company is willing to give you a few hours – we need all of the help you can get,” Luhigo said.

To learn how to donate or become a volunteer, click here.