A Hidden Reality and Growing Problem 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.
1 in 6 Northwest North Carolinians faces hunger. The situation is even worse for our children, with more than 1 in 4 children lacking access to sufficient food to meet their nutritional needs.
Increasing poverty, extended high unemployment and significant underemployment are contributing factors to a worsening of the problem of hunger in our communities. During the last four years of economic difficulty, the number of people we’re serving has grown from 135,000 to well over 300,000, including 100,000 children. Many seeking food assistance never imagined they'd have to turn for help to feed their families.
Together with our network of more than 400 partner food assitance programs and supported by compassionate and generous community of donors and volunteers, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC addresses the urgent nutritional needs of our hungry neighbors and works to end hunger through education, outreach and advocacy.
To learn more about hunger in your home county, use the interactive map at the bottom of this page.
The Consequences of Hunger
Research indicates that even mild under-nutrition experienced by a young child during critical periods of growth may lead to reductions in physical growth and affect brain development, threatening a child’s natural abilities and potential over a lifetime.
Potential consequences for our communities and nation include higher rates of school failure, poorer returns on educational investments and weakened workforce productivity when children reach the age of employment.
In collaboration with our partner food assistance programs, schools, funding partners and others, we're turning the tables on childhood hunger in northwest NC through targeted special programs.
Seniors Seniors whose fixed incomes have not kept pace with rising prices are also increasingly at risk of hunger. For older adults, inadequate diets can contribute to or exacerbate disease, quicken the advance of age-related degenerative diseases and delay recovery from illnesses.
A recent joint issued by Feeding America in partnership with The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger shows that in 2011, almost one in every 12 seniors above the age of 60 in the United States was food insecure. That represents 4.8 million seniors nationwide, which is more than double the number of food insecure seniors in 2001. View the 8-page report here.
Produced by the Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation.
Map the Meal Gap Report
Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap report
documents the persistent and pervasive incidence of hunger in every city, town, county and state in our nation. By analyzing household income levels, the study reveals that many who are food insecure are ineligible for various government programs, including Food and Nutrition Services (formerly Food Stamps) and other federal nutrition programs, including free and reduced priced school meals. For these families in particular, Second Harvest Food Banks and its network of partner agencies provide a critical source of much-needed food assistance.
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
Together We Can Solve Hunger
Hunger in our communities and nation is a solvable problem. We all have a role to play - individuals, charities, businesses, foundations, faith and civic organizations and government.