September is Hunger Action Month. Today, the non-profit Feeding America reports that 1 in 6 Americans depend on a food pantry to get by; this is roughly 49 million people. And the number of children relying on food banks has increased a whopping 50% since 2006.
Here's some "food for thought":
One in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.
More than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities and medical care.
The average person on Food Stamps receives only $133 per month.
One in six east Tennesseans are hungry with over 245,000 people at risk of hunger.
In east Tennessee, between 12% and 25% of the population live below the poverty level.
As of August 2010, over 236,500 individuals in our area are on Food Stamps.
The increasing need for food consistently overwhelms current decreasing donations.
The "working poor" make up the largest portion of the people that receive food from Second Harvest Foodbank here in east Tennessee. The working poor are employed but most do not receive benefits from their work, so they are left alone to pay health-care and medical expenses for their families. This year, the number of people seeking food assistance has risen 28% in our service area!
In our area one in four children are at risk of hunger.
Second Harvest Foodbank Statistics for September 2009:
Knox County 71,881 total at risk including 15,250 at risk children
Blount County 19,207 total at risk including 4,490 at risk children
Sevier County 14,797 total at risk including 3,882 at risk children
Second Harvest Foodbank distributes food to roughly 165,000 hungry people every month through a network of nearly 500 Partner Agencies throughout East Tennessee which include church pantries, shelters, group homes, local kitchens, after-school program sites, rehabilitation centers and many others.
Throughout Hunger Action Month, Feeding America's nationwide network of more than 200 food banks is calling upon communities to take action through the "30 Ways in 30 Days" campaign. Whether it's by advocating and raising awareness, making donations, or giving of your time and energy, you can make a difference.
It can be as easy as wearing an orange ribbon or taking the Facebook challenge. And Second Harvest has partnered with many local businesses which offer discounts and other special offers for customers who make donations. Click on this link to find out more.
A donation of only $1 provides 3 meals through Second Harvest Foodbank.
For more information click on the links below.