Across Second Harvest Food Bank's 18-county service area, nearly 300,000 people are at risk of hunger, one-third of which are children. Today, 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure, which means they cannot reliably say from where their next meal is coming. Food is a basic need - the fuel we need to survive and thrive. Hungry children can't learn and hungry adults can't work and live productively.
Hunger - A Hidden Reality in Our Communities
Hunger in our communities is largely hidden. But whether it involves a parent skipping meals, eating less than is needed to live a healthy life or making due with foods that are filling but lack nutrition, its affects can be devasting, especially among our more vulnerable citizens, including children and older adults.
Produced by the Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation.
Children Children are especially vulnerable to issues of hunger and poverty. Research indicates that even mild under-nutrition experienced by young children during critical periods of growth may lead to reductions in physical growth and affect brain development. A child who is unequipped to learn because of hunger and poverty is more likely to be poor as an adult. As such, the existence of childhood hunger in the United States threatens future American prosperity. A recent study released by Feeding America, "Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2012," offers insight into the extent of childhood hunger at the county level, revealing that child hunger continues to exist in every county and every congressional district in the nation--even the wealthiest.
Seniors For older adults, adequate nutrition is particularly important for health because of their increased vulnerability to disease and conditions that may impair the ability to live at home independently. Inadequate diets may contribute to or exacerbate disease, quicken the advance of age-related degenerative diseases, and delay recovery from illnesses. 10.2% served by Second Harvest Food Bank emergency assistance programs are age 65 or older.
The assumption is often made that those who face hunger are unemployed. The truth is that greater and greater numbers of working North Carolinians are struggling to feed their families. More than one-third of these households have one or more adults working. According to the recent Map the Meal Gap Study released by Feeding America, 35% of those who are food insecure in the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC service area are not eligible for government assistance based on income. Below you will see a chart of information from the Map the Meal Gap Study.
number of people who are food insecure
percentage of the population that is food insecure
percentage of food insecure people who do NOT qualify for government assistance based upon income
Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC Service Area
According to the most recent study, released in March 2011, from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Food Hardship in America 2010, North Carolina is ranked 6th worse in the nation for food hardship. Amoung Metropolitan Service Areas, Winston-Salem MSA was ranked 3rd worse in the nation and Greensboro/High Point MSA was ranked 4th.
While hunger is a widespread problem, it is unique in that it is truly a solvable problem. The resources exist. The United States is the largest and most efficient food producer in the world. The charitable food system in America is smart and highly cooperative. With support from many generous food and financial donors and the helping hands of over 2000 volunteers, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC serves a critical role in hunger-relief efforts for the region, providing donated food to 335 non-profit partner agencies that serve people at risk of hunger and others in need. We are a member of Feeding America (formerly named America's Second Harvest), a collaborative and coordinated network of more than 200 food banks united nationally and operating locally, serving every community in the nation to get food to those who need it.