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How to find food pantries, meals near your home

Food pantries and free meals are only helpful if people know they exist.

INDIANAPOLIS — Zelma Butler is someone who receives weekly help from the Bread of Life Food Pantry.

"I appreciate every bit of it," Butler said, "it's a blessing because of a lot people don't even have that."

But pantries and free meals are only helpful if people know they exist. That's the Indy Hunger Network created the app and website, Community Compass

Alex Sindorf, a food assistance programs manager with Indy Hunger, said the site is intended to help close the information gap. 

"People weren't finding the food resources that they needed," Sindorf said, "then they weren't using the food resources that were available."

Community Compass users select the type of help they need and plug in their ZIP code. Each pantry, grocery or meal location lists its ID requirements and hours.

"In just Marion County, we have over 200 food pantries and most people don't know that in their own neighborhoods, they probably have one or two food pantries," Sindorf said. 

Credit: WTHR

Because of the app, Bread of Life coordinator Loretta Farr said they're seeing new faces. 

"We've had a client just recently that relocated from Mississippi. And when we asked, 'How did you hear about Bread of Life? Of the pantry?' he immediately said, 'The Community Compass," Farr said. 

Connecting people with the resources they need sooner rather than later.

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