Hunger is not limited to the homeless and unemployed. Working families are struggling as well.
Many people believe that the only persons who visit food pantries are the homeless and minorities. There is also the perception that some folks who need supplemental food are trifling and are just trying to get free food. I’ve heard it all. The true fact is many people are living below the federal poverty line, comprising one of the largest groups experiencing food insecurity. A large majority of this group visits food pantries to supplement their monthly food budgets. Research has proven that unemployment, which contributes to poverty, is a better predictor of food insecurity in America. However, food insecurities are not limited to the unemployed or individuals below the poverty line.
Working families are also struggling with food insecurity. During the 2014 Hunger in America study, the federal poverty level was $23,550 for a family of four. These families had to choose between food and other necessities: rent, utilities and health care. Because of their lower incomes, 79% of households purchased inexpensive and unhealthy foods. These unhealthy food choices are linked to health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
According to the 2014 Hunger in America study the faces of food pantry clients are:
Households facing challenges in securing full-time positions. The study reports that over half (57%) of employed client households are part-time employees (30 hours or less per week).
Whites (43%); African Americans (26%); and Latinos (20%)
Households that have a member who has served in the US military (20%)
Persons with post-high school education (41%)
Households with an annual household income of $30,000 or less (89%)
I hope this blog has made you aware of who is hungry in America.
Lets's All Eat Together!
The statistics were provided by the Feeding America 2014 Hunger in America Study.