What does hunger look like in your community?
MAP THE MEAL GAP 2009 - 2013
In order to address the problem of hunger, we must first understand it. Feeding America undertook the Map the Meal Gap project to learn more about hunger at the local community level. By understanding the population in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance.
VIEW Map the Meal Gap
Hunger in America 2014 Project
In 2013, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, in conjunction with Feeding America, participated in a national project that focused on surveying those who are hungry in America. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from FA agencies. Within the 27 county area served by Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the food bank and its partner agencies continue to serve many clients facing various challenges. Key findings are as follows:
- Clients Served: Within the Food Bank’s service area, 50,300 unique clients are served in a typical week and 462,600 are served annually. An estimated 17,400 unique households are served in a typical week and 158,800 are served annually.
- Demographics: 59 percent of clients identify themselves as white, 10 percent as black or African American, and 13 percent as Hispanic or Latino. Among all clients, 29 percent are children under age 18, and 16 percent are seniors age 60 and older.
- Food Insecurity: An estimated 86 percent of households are food insecure, and 14 percent are food secure.
- Income and Poverty: An estimated 4 percent of client households have no income, 41 percent have annual incomes of $1 to $10,000, and 29 percent have annual incomes of $10,001 to $20,000. Taking into consideration household size, 65 percent of client households have incomes that fall at or below the federal poverty level.
- Health: An estimated 33 percent of households report at least one member with diabetes; 58 percent of households report at least one member with high blood pressure. Additionally, 13 percent of client households have no members with health insurance of any kind, and 70 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months.
- Education: An estimated 77 percent of all clients have attained a high school degree or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or more, and an estimated 28 percent of all clients have post-high school education (including license or certification, some college, or a four-year degree).
- Coping Strategies and Spending Trade-offs: An estimated 70 percent of households reported that they had to choose between paying for food and utilities in the past 12 months, and 59 percent of households chose between paying for food and transportation in the past 12 months. An estimated 77 percent of households reported using multiple strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months, including eating food past its expiration date, growing food in a garden, pawning or selling personal property and watering down food or drinks.
- Housing: An estimated 99 percent of households reside in nontemporary housing, such as a house or apartment, and 1 percent of households reside in temporary housing, such as a shelter or mission, a motel or hotel, or on the street. 55 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage at least once in the past 12 months. An estimated 17 percent of respondents have experienced a foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.
- Employment: An estimated 53 percent of households have a household member who had worked for pay in the last 12 months; in 60 percent of client households the most-employed person from the past 12 months is currently out of work.
- SNAP Participation: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,formerly known as the Food Stamp Program and known in different states under alternative names) is the largest nutrition assistance program. Participating low-income households receive monthly SNAP benefit allotments in the form of electronic debit cards (also known as EBT, or electronic benefit transfer). An estimated 58 percent of client households currently receive SNAP benefits.
- Agency Staff: An estimated 56 percent of the food bank’s partner
agencies reported employing paid staff. The median number of paid
full-time-equivalent staff (assuming a 40-hour work week) was 5.
- Program Volunteers: A median of 4 volunteers a week provided a median of 25 volunteer hours to programs each week.
You can download the entire Hunger in America 2014 project report or receive a copy by calling Agency Relations at 717-564-1700.
Download Project Report