Evansville City Council unanimously passes food security commission ordinance

Evansville City Council unanimously passes food security commission ordinance

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A new commission is being created in Evansville which aims at addressing food insecurity throughout the community.

The city council gave unanimous support of the measure Monday night.

This ordinance was unique because instead of only have two or three sponsors, it was backed by the entire body. 14 News talked to both members of council and the Mayor’s administration.

Recent events, like the ones put on by Feed Evansville, show the need in our community, which is an unexpected consequence, city leaders say, of the pandemic.

“Food security has been an issue in Evansville and Vanderburgh County for some time,” Ward 3 councilmember Zac Heronemus explained. “My past experience working at Tri-State Food Bank, and the data we saw, the individuals and family we saw struggle, it has been there.”

There are organizations that aim to help, such as Tri-State Food Bank, food pantries, Feed Evansville, local churches and more, but this new initiative may help most of them intertwine.

“I’m looking forward to everyone having those conversations to make sure we’re looking at this from a birds-eye view, and not just on the ground getting caught doing this mundane day-to-day tasks,” council Vice President Alex Burton shared.

City council, with unanimous support, cleared the creation for this new Commission on Food Security. The intent is to coordinate services, funding and programs related to the issues.

The measure comes as a proposal by the Mayor.

“Individuals and families that had never needed food assistance before were now forced to look for some of those resources,” Evansville Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said.

The body will include no more than 25 members which will mostly be made up of representatives from food-related community organizations, but also at-large members.

The purpose to put food in front of the people who need it most.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Ward 5 councilmember Justin Elpers added. “Awesome.”

The commission is expected to have a President, Vice President and Treasurer. The Mayor will serve as the President for the first year.

The next council meeting is on February 8.

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