Facts and Faces of Hunger in America
Below are the stories of four Americans. They lead different lives, but have one thing in common:
Meet Jessica, Alicia, Martin and Harold.
Each represents the face of hunger in our nation as revealed through Hunger in America 2014, the largest research study of its kind in the U.S., carried out by Feeding America.
Follow their paths and find out how you can make a difference in their lives.
She's 8 years old.
Jessica loves school. But lately she has been struggling to get through the day.
The Feeding America network serves 12 million children each year, just like Jessica
Jessica needs nutritious food to help her grow and stay alert in school. Her parents work hard, but have had a difficult time putting food on the table.
So many nights, Jessica doesn't get enough food to get her through the next day.
79% of households we serve buy cheaper food, despite knowing it might not be the healthiest, in an effort to feed their family
Alicia is a full-time college student, wife and mother.
1 in 10 adults we serve is currently a student
41% of households we serve have someone with a post high school education
Shortly after Alicia went back to school to earn her degree to better provide for her family, her husband lost his job.
As she works to build a better life, money is tight. At times, Alicia skips meals so her children won't have to.
31% of households we serve have to choose between paying for education and food every year
He's 52 and works as a janitor at a local school. He also lives with diabetes.
1 in 3 households we serve has a member with diabetes
Despite his hard work, Martin earns minimum wage. After paying rent, he doesn't always have enough left over for food and medical care.
So every month, Martin has to make an impossible choice.
66% of households we serve have to choose between paying for medical car and food every year
Harold is a grandfather and proud veteran.
1 in 5 households we serve has a member who has served in the U.S. military
As a 72-year-old senior, Harold has a fixed income of only $850 a month. This puts him well below the poverty line.
With so many bills to pay and rising food costs, Harold struggles to survive in a country whose prosperity and freedom he so bravely served to protect.
69% of households we serve have to choose between paying for food and utility bills every year
Jessica, Alicia, Martin and Harold are just four of the more than 46 million people Feeding America serves each year.
But we don't do it alone.
We rely on people like you, who give food, funds and time to the Feeding America network of food banks.
There are 200 Feeding America member food banks that serve every community in the United States
Food banks distribute food to local partner agencies like food pantries and meal programs.
There are 60,000 food pantries and meal programs across the Feeding America network
With the help of dedicated volunteers, these programs provide food directly to the people who need it most.
2 million volunteers contribute more than 8.4 million hours of support each month
But the people we serve need more than food. That's why we partner with health, housing and employment organizations to help provide families with the support they need to build more stable lives.
The Feeding America network serves millions of families, yet there are millions more who still need help.
That's why your support is more important than ever.
Together, we can help build a bright future for our neighbors in need.
Together, we can solve hunger.™