Hunger Study

Background: Hunger in America 2006 is the largest study of domestic hunger ever conducted. Commissioned by America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network and conducted by the professional polling firm Mathematica, this study pulled together information from 52,000 clients and more than 30,000 agencies served by member food banks, such as Golden Harvest Food Bank. This study is being released nationally today, February 23, 2006.

The following statistics are from the local portion of this study:
Number served: Estimated number of unduplicated clients served annually by Golden Harvest Food Bank: 76,200. The population in Golden Harvest’s 25-county service area is 747,586 -- GHFB serves 1 in 10 people in its service area.

Socioeconomic and other characteristics of those we serve:
· Age: 17% are senior citizens (65+) 33% are children (<18)
· Gender: 41.6% male, 58.4% female
· Average poverty percentage for this service area is 17%
· 48% ate less than they thought they should
· 30.9% of the adults were hungry but didn’t eat
· 13.8% of the adults did not eat for a whole day
· 75.7% have applied for food stamps and 41% are currently receiving food stamps
· 2.1 weeks was the average number of weeks on food stamps
· 57% of the households used the free school lunch program, 56.4% used the free school breakfast program

How often during the previous 12 months were children of the household not eating enough?
· 32.5% reported not having enough to eat
· 8.9% of those surveyed reported that their children skipped meals because there was not enough money for food

Marital status of adults surveyed:

· Married 17.4%
· Living as married 2.6%
· Widowed 28.9%
· Divorced 16.3%
· Separated 13.9%
· Never been married 20.9%

Employment status and other factors:

· 29% of all adults under age 65 were employed
· 17.9% of food pantry clients did not have access to a working telephone, 37.6% did not have access to a working car.

Those surveyed had to choose between paying for food and paying for…

· Utilities or heating fuel 44.3%
· Rent or mortgage 32.7%
· Medicine or medical care 34.8%
· 54% of all households had to choose among one of the above!

Some comparisons with national averages:

· 33.2% used senior nutrition sites in our service area – vs. 17.8% nationally
· 72.5% used brown bag programs (run by either GHFB or one of our agencies) – vs. 17.8% for other food banks

Agency Survey Summary:

· Average length of operation for food pantries: 10 years
· 66.8% were run by a faith-based or religious-affiliated nonprofit
· 31.9% said funding problems threatened their existence
· Average % of food received from GHFB:
· Food Pantries: 85.4%
· Kitchen Programs: 50.4%
· Shelter Programs: 42%

If GHFB were eliminated, what effect would this have on food pantries?’

· 86% would drastically reduce the assistance offered to the poor, or have to close altogether

Some reflections on the local survey/Key statistics:

· 54% of all households had to choose between food and one basic necessity

· 1 person in 10 in our region is directed helped at least once in 12 months by Golden Harvest Food Bank

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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