Hunger in Northwest North Carolina

Through my organization’s annual food drive I’ve become very familiar with the work of Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC. Unfortunately that familiarity is why the recently released results of a study on food insecurity provides little in the way of surprises, but does serve to help remind me of why we’re so passionate about our efforts on behalf of the organization. If, after reading the following numbers, you feel like helping out you can make a financial contribution at our food drive’s online donation page at  www.helpsecondharvest.com 

Here are just a few of the sobering statistics:

  • Nearly 300,000 different individuals turn to our network of more than 400 partner programs for food assistance annually – or 1 in every 6 people living in our region.
  • Despite Second Harvest Food Bank’s continuing success in sourcing more food for our partner agency network (in the past five years, distribution has more than tripled from 7.9 million pounds to more than 25 million pounds), 44 percent of programs report having less food than needed to meet the needs of those requesting assistance.
  • 32% of those who receive food assistance through our partner agency network are children under the age of 18. Because programs that serve only children were not eligible to be sampled for the Client Survey, for example our BackPack and Kids Cafe programs and summer meal sites, this percentage underestimates the actual number of children being reached by Second Harvest Food Bank.)
  • 10 percent of those who receive food assistance through our partner agency network are seniors age 65 or older. (30 percent are age 50 and older.)
  • 78 percent of those who seek food assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank’s network live in households at or below the poverty level.
  • 57 percent of households have monthly incomes of $1,000 or less.
  • Over the past year, 72 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care; 31 percent of these households are making this choice every month.
  • 73 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying
    for utilities.

    • 30 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 72 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying
    for medicine/medical care.

    • 31 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 72 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying
    for transportation.

    • 31 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 64 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying
    for housing.

    • 24 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 24 percent of households report choosing between paying for food and paying
    for education expenses.

    • 9 percent of these households are making the choice every month.

Remember, there’s an easy way to help at www.helpsecondharvest.com.

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