Since 2013, the Indiana State Fair has partnered with the Indiana Association of Fairs (INAF) and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to implement the FAIRs Care County Food Drive program. The goal of FAIRs Care is to raise awareness of local hunger needs and help feed hungry Hoosiers.
This year, participating counties have collected 33,548 total pounds of food and raised $74,240.21 for local food pantries this year. Using the Feeding American calculation, dividing the total pounds collected by 1.2, the donations collected this year equate to 27,957 meals – enough to provide about 77 Hoosiers with a meal every day for an entire year.
The top five counties with the most food and monetary contributions are:
- Cass County 4-H Fair – raised $31,796.00
- Porter County 4-H Fair – raised $31,500.00
- Miami County 4-H Fair – raised $11,210.71
- Wells County 4-H Fair – raised $10,836.00
- Hendricks County 4-H Fair – raised $5,183.48
To calculate these numbers, the Indiana State Fair multiplies the pounds of food collected by $1.67, which is the average cost of a pound of food. Cash donations are then added to the total. Each of these top five counties will receive a $200 prize for their hard work and generous contributions.
The other participating counties include: Hancock County Fair, Shelby County Fair, Jay County Fair, Miami County Fair, Clinton County & 4-H Fair, Hamilton County 4-H Fair, Boone County Fair, Wells County 4-H Fair, Starke County 4-H Fair, Daviess County 4-H Show, Jasper County Fair, Cass County 4-H Fair, Perry County 4-H Fair, Henry County 4-H Fair, Whitley County 4-H Fair, Putnam County Fair, Hendricks County Fair, Porter County Fair, Parke County 4-H Fair, Clay County 4-H Fair, Huntington County 4-H Fair, Fayette County Free Fair, and Vermillion County Fair.
Leaders in these counties worked with local food banks to secure donations during their county fairs that benefit local hunger relief efforts. Participants received an allotment of Indiana State Fair tickets to help incentivize donations at the food drives.
“This year we are “Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit” and I can’t think of a better example of that spirit than helping hungry Hoosiers and encouraging other counties around the state to do the same,” said Indiana State Fair Commission Executive Director Cindy Hoye. “This is an important part of who we are – taking care of our neighbors and giving back to the community.”