Landmark New Study Reveals An Unprecedented Increase In Number of African Americans Seeking Emergency Food Assistance
Largest, Most Comprehensive Report Ever Conducted on Emergency Food Distribution Reports African Americans are disproportionately impacted by hunger as compared to the US population.
Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) -- A landmark study released today by Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, reports that there has been an increase of more than one million additional African Americans in need of emergency food assistance each year since 2006. With more than one in three African American adults seeking emergency food assistance from Feeding America, African Americans make up 34 percent of all adults served by Feeding America.
An increasing number of African American households with children do not know when or where they will find their next meal. According to USDA's "Household Food Insecurity In the United States, 2008" released in November 2009, 3.7 million Black children were living with food insecurity, up from 2.78 million, an increase of 35 percent.
"I have personally experienced hunger and homelessness," says filmmaker and Feeding America entertainment council member Tyler Perry, "It's almost impossible to imagine that this situation could exist in ours, the most wealthy and generous of nations. Please look out for your neighbors who you think might need help. No one should go to bed hungry in America."
Many of the people served by Feeding America food banks report they are struggling with unemployment, difficult choices between food and other basic necessities and the pressures of skyrocketing healthcare costs. Almost half of clients served report having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food; 39 percent said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food; 34 percent report having to choose between paying for medical bills and food; and 35 percent must choose between transportation and food. Hunger in America 2010 is the first research study to capture the significant connection between the recent economic downturn and an increased need for emergency food assistance. An estimated 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance each week from a food pantry, soup kitchen, or other agency served by one of Feeding America’s more than 200 food banks. This is a 27 percent increase over numbers reported in Hunger in America 2006 (note: link to 06/10 comparison fact sheet), which reported that 4.5 million people were served each week.
The methodology incorporated into the 2010 study includes data collected from February through June, 2009. Feeding America collected quantitative and qualitative feedback from 61,000 face-to-face in-depth interviews with people seeking emergency food assistance and more than 37,000 agency surveys, making this the largest, most comprehensive study ever conducted on domestic hunger. The results are based on surveys conducted at food pantries, soup kitchens, and other emergency feeding programs only.
"While we have reached many more people over the past four years, the need of hungry Americans far outpaces our current level of service," stated Escarra. "We will continue to partner with federal and state governments, corporate and individual donors and other hunger-relief organizations to bring more food and funds into the charitable distribution system and connect people with federal benefits until every man, woman and child has access to adequate food and nutrition."
Among other key comparative findings in the report:
* 50 percent increase in the number of children served annually.
* 26 percent increase in the number of African Americans served annually.
* 64 percent increase in the number of households with seniors facing very low food security—or hunger.
* 59 percent increase in the number of client households reporting they have to choose between paying their rent or mortgage and food.
A summary of the findings and the full report are available on Feeding America's web site at www.feedingamerica.org/hungerstudy
Feeding America network client stories - http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/real-stories.aspx
Tweet about Hunger in America 2010 using #HungerStudy
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
The Walker Marchant Group
Paula Thornton Greear
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