News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Churches pray and worship for 24 hours to address food insecurity in Indianapolis

Posted at 11:41 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-27 12:10:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Alexandra Garcia works hard to make sure no one in her southwest side community goes hungry.

Garcia is the food pantry director at Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer, which in the last year has helped between 400 and 500 people in need.

“It’s people, immigrants (that) come. They have nowhere to live. They don’t have food at all. There are so many homeless around this area," Garcia said.

In Marion County alone, there are more than 130 food pantries in churches like Garcia’s.

Statewide, churches make up an estimated 70 percent of all pantries.

On Friday, hundreds gathered for a 24-hour-long prayer and worship session to address food insecurity.

“Believe it or not there’s more food that’s being thrown away than being giving away," Merlin Gonzales, President of Faith Hope and Love, said.

Gonzales' organization trains and equips faith-based food pantries to alleviate hunger in neighborhoods around central Indiana.

“Churches want to help people because that’s part of their mission. To feed the poor, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty," Gonzales said.

Gonzales says the purpose of the gathering is unity. He hopes it will bring Hoosiers of all different ethnicities, languages and races.

“Without the unity of the churches, the food pantries aren’t going to survive. Many people are going to be affected by the food insecurity that’s happening in Indianapolis," Gonzales said.

If you’d like to get involved, the worship and prayer will continue until Saturday at 6 p.m. at 1460 S. Belmont Ave.