Who is the face of hunger? According to a new study – students, military veterans and even the employed – but they rely on food pantries to provide meals for themselves and their families. The study by Feeding America provides a glance inside the lives of people served by food banks across the country, revealing faces of hunger that no longer fit the stereotype.
“We see clients who are educated or in college with part or full-time jobs, but aren’t earning enough to provide for their families. As a result, clients who receive financial support and guidance through our Emergency Family Services and Family Stability Initiative also receive food assistance through our food pantries,” said Julie Yetter, Central Region Director of Catholic Charities of Central Florida.
Each September, Catholic Charities of Central Florida participates in Hunger Action Month, a Feeding America nationwide movement to encourage and unite local communities to take action against hunger.
“Taking part in Hunger Action Month is just one of many ways we can raise awareness for the needs of the hungry in our local community,” said Joe Buranosky, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central Florida. “When the community comes together to support our friends in need, they receive more than a bag of food – they receive hope in a difficult time.”
The study by Feeding America also found:
- One in seven Americans rely on food pantries and meal services to feed themselves and their families.
- 10 percent of adult clients are students.
- 20 percent of households served by the Feeding America network include someone who is a veteran.
- 66 percent of households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
- 54 percent of households were employed in the past year.
- 41 percent of households have at least one adult member with education beyond high school.
These findings demonstrate the need to address hunger in Central Florida. “Our goal is to provide our clients with the support and guidance they need to regain self-sufficiency,” said Yetter.
The vision of Catholic Charities of Central Florida is that every person’s basic human needs are met through love and empowerment. Their vision is to provide vital social services to people in need regardless of their religious, social or economic background, to improve lives of individuals, families and the community.
How to take action against hunger:
- Make a donation.
- Organize a food drive.
- Volunteer at a local food pantry.
- Wear orange to support hunger-relief on Hunger Action Day – Thursday, September 4.
For more information on the study, click here: http://help.feedingamerica.org/HungerInAmerica/hunger-in-america-2014-summary.pdf. To volunteer or donate to Catholic Charities of Central Florida, call 407-658-1818.