Lunch for a Cause at Friday’s “Eat Outside the Box” Downtown

Homelessness is a tragic problem that strikes citizens across the United States. With anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million Americans without a home on any given night, it is impossible to believe that such a rampant problem could arise in a country as wonderful as America. But sadly, homelessness is a reality for millions of Americans and thousands of Hoosiers. Take a bite out of homelessness at the Salvation Army’s annual Eat Outside the Box event on Veteran’s Memorial Plaza in Indianapolis downtown Friday, May 14. Beginning at 10:00 am and ending at 2:00 pm, Eat Outside the Box offers Indianapolis people a cheap lunch, where all proceeds go to fighting homelessness in Indiana. Leave the lunch box at home this Friday and Eat Outside the Box!

On any given night in the Circle City there are 1,500 kids who sleep on the streets. About 7,500 people find themselves without a home each year. On a single night in January 2009, 1,500 men, women and children were counted experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis. These numbers don’t come close to reflecting the extent of the entire problem. The incomplete count doesn’t include people who could not be located, who found temporary unconventional shelters, who stayed at hotels or who were able to “double up” with friends and extended family.

Looking at homelessness statistic across America revels the depth of this crisis hitting millions of people each and every day. In the past year, 71% of surveyed cities reported an increase in the number of families with children using emergency shelter and transitory housing. Of the homeless population in America, 23% are families with children, 76% are adult individuals and 1% are unaccompanied youth. In 2008, 65% of cities in the United States expected an increase in requests for emergency shelter and thus funding for these programs.

With an average wage of working families assisted through welfare in Marion County at $7.62 per hour and the average wage needed to afford a two bedroom apartment at $11.12, it is easy to understand how so many people can be afflicted by homelessness. In fact, the leading cause of homelessness in Indiana and America is a lack of affordable housing. Most homeless families are comprised of single mothers and their children, who are likely victims of domestic violence.

So what is the best way to help? Should you give money to panhandlers on the street, helping them to find their next meal? Or donate to larger organizations that can make a measurable impact on the problem of homelessness in Indiana? One way to do your part is by participating in the upcoming Eat Outside the Box event happening in one of downtown’s most notorious Indianapolis parks: Veteran’s Memorial Plaza.

With a central location between North Meridian Street and Michigan, employees of many Indianapolis business will be able to easily pop over to this Indianapolis event for an all American picnic. For a minimum donation of $5.00, Indianapolis people can partake in a picnic lunch provided by All-American Picnic Company. They will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, with chips and drinks available as well. Plus live music by Indianapolis band BandWagon. Take a break from your desk with a cheap lunch and some solid tunes, all for a good cause!

The 1,500 Indianapolis kids living on the streets thinks that Homelessness Bites. Bite back by supporting the Salvation Army’s Eat Outside the Box event this Friday. Interested in helping more? Buy booth space for only $50.00. A central location for displays, giveaways and even the chance to sell nonfood items, this Indianapolis event is a great way to reach new patrons. Call Kristin at 317.224.1019 for more information.

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Eat Outside the Box
Friday, May 14
10:00 am to 2:00 pm