The Face of Hunger
During these times of economic uncertainty, hunger and the threat of hunger is growing in Western North Carolina. Feeding America estimates that more than 37 million Americans seek emergency food assistance in a single year. Finding ways of reducing food waste in our country and in WNC can help bring food to the tables of those in need. Gleaning, soliciting, storing and distributing surplus, donated food and related commodities to certified charitable 501 ( C ) (3) tax exempt agencies involved in feeding the needy is our main focus.
Hunger in Western North Carolina
According to Hunger in America 2010, 106,600 different Western North Carolinians sought emergency food aid from MANNA FoodBank’s partner agencies in a single year. That’s 1 in 6 of our neighbors in Western North Carolina, compared to the national average of 1 in 8. In order to serve this need, MANNA distributed 7.6 Million pounds of food in 2009 through their partner agencies – enough food for 15,000 meals per day.
Additional Statistics Collected Through Hunger in America 2010
- 31% of households served by MANNA FoodBank’s partner agencies include children under 18.
- 36% of households include at least one employed adult.
- 74% had incomes below the official federal poverty level of $16,600 during the previous month.
- 46% of clients served by MANNA FoodBank partner agencies chose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel.
- 28% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage bill or for medical care.
- 32% of total clients served by MANNA’s partner agencies have one household member in poor health.
Giving Hunger a Face:
What have we learned from Hunger in America 2010?
- MANNA FoodBank is by far the single most important source of food for its partner agencies, accounting for 77% of the food distributed by emergency food pantries, 40% of soup kitchens’ food, and 53% of emergency shelters’ food.
- People are making hard choices—food or heat; food or the mortgage payment; food or prescription drugs; food or getting the car repaired.
- Hunger is not discriminatory; it affects people of all walks of life, people who are going to work everyday, trying to feed their families.
Jim Peterson, an agency monitor volunteer for MANNA FoodBank, says “as I visit MANNA’s network of frontline agencies, I know they face organizational challenges. Hunger in America 2010 shows that in WNC, at least 70 percent of food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters report that they have at least one problem that threatens their ability to continue operating. Problems relating to funds and food supplies were the two most commonly cited threats.”