According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, it affects one in six people, which could mean your neighbor or the kids down the block.
Thankfully, organizations around the nation are helping to erase hunger from our communities. Recently, Feeding America released its Hunger in America 2014 report, which took a close look at those impacted by food insecurity. This September, Hunger Action Month, learn more about how this important issue and how you can make a difference in your community.
Looking to learn more? Here are seven facts that may help you better understand how hunger impacts our nation as a whole:
1. Each year, one in seven Americans turns to the Feeding America network for food assistance -- more than 46 million people annually. That number includes 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
2. Challenges like low wages, underemployment and unemployment may drive a household’s need for food assistance. In fact, nearly three-quarters of Feeding America households (72 percent) live at or below the poverty line.
3. Many Feeding America households (41 percent) include a member who is educated beyond high school; many other adult clients are currently enrolled in school.
4. More than 600,000 households that seek food assistance from a Feeding America food bank have at least one member who is currently serving in the U.S. military. This represents one in four military households in the country.
5. Feeding America clients face a number of challenges – including health issues. Nearly 60 percent of households with a member with high blood pressure, and 33 percent of households have a member with diabetes.
6. Feeding America households face difficult decisions often. Two-thirds of households report having to choose between paying for food, and paying for medicine or medical care.
7. Many households use coping strategies in order to feed their families. Sometimes that means purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food (79 percent), eating food past the expiration date (56 percent) or watering down food or drinks (40 percent).
Curious to learn more? Visit Feeding America to find out more about hunger in America. To make a difference in your community, you can visit Feeding America to find out how you can get involved, or consider donating or volunteering at your local hunger-relief organization.
You also can help your community by supporting the Great American Milk Drive. Organizations like Feeding America feed millions, but often they struggle with providing their clients with all of the nutrient-rich foods they need. For example, milk is one of the most requested items at food banks, but often it’s not given out to clients since it’s rarely donated. You can help get nutritious milk into the hands of those who need it by visiting MilkLife.com/Give.