Food Banks No Longer for Emergency Use Only
330,000 people rely on Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin each year
105,000 of whom are children who are unsure of where their next meal is coming from
33,000 are senior citizens with fixed incomes that may be insufficient to provide for basic needs
When food banks were established in the late 1970's, it was thought they'd be a place where families who were struggling could come for food, to help them through a tough economic time - a crutch to get people through a short-term crisis.
Food banks across the United States have seen a change. More and more, people have come to rely on food banks and the food pantries, making them the "new normal" - a place people go on a regular, ongoing basis to help them get through each month. A new study proves that reality.
"Food Banks: Hunger's New Staple," released by Feeding America, the nations's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, reveals that emergency food from pantries is no longer being used to meet temporary acute food needs. Many Americans now rely on food pantries on a consistent, ongoing basis. A majority of Feeding America's clients (54%) have used a food pantry for at least six months or more during the past year.
Aditionally, over one third of all clients are recurrent clients, having used a food pantry monthly for at least every month within the past year.
These numbers reveal how people are struggling - and not just for a short period of time. For those who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) they, too, are struggling to get through each month.New data found that more than half of those enrolled in the SNAP program have to seek food assitance monthly. This study illustrates that people are using food banks and pantries as a coping strategy - looking for a way to supplement their grocery needs.
As Congress looks for budget cuts, many of the most critical programs for families in need are at risk. During these trying times we're relying on generous donations from our supporters to help those who are struggling to provide food. Take action now and join us in the fight to end hunger.
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