Nearly 1.6 million. That’s the number of people in Pennsylvania who struggle to put food on the table every year. More precisely, that figure represents the 1 in 8 residents considered to be “food insecure.” That means they don’t always have access to the food they need for an active, healthy life, according to the USDA.. Who is affected by food insecurity in Pennsylvania? What resources are available to people living with it? Most importantly, what more can we do to make sure they get the help that they need? Last week, we released a report that aimed to answer these questions. The report, “State of Hunger: Pennsylvania 2013,” features an interactive map that, for the first time, makes data available on the number of residents who receive food assistance in all 67 counties.
Hunger exists in communities across Pennsylvania, though it’s easy to overlook. You probably wouldn’t know that a co-worker often goes home to an empty refrigerator. Or that the boy in your child’s class can’t concentrate because he hasn’t had breakfast. Or that the cashier at your grocery store worries about being able to pay for enough food for his own family.
“The report paints a vivid picture of how important programs like SNAP (food stamps) and school meals are to every community in Pennsylvania,” says Julie Zaebst, the Coalition's interim executive director. "But it also reminds us that far too many people who struggle with hunger aren’t participating in these vital programs. As a state, we must ensure more residents get the help they need."
Thanks to supporters like you, the Coalition has helped more than 50,000 families apply for SNAP and other food assistance programs over the past decade. We're also able to support more than 100 food pantries and soup kitchens, so they can serve more low-income families and seniors in neighborhoods across the Philadelphia region.
And we work with community members to raise awareness about ways we can all fight hunger in our backyard. This report is one way that everyday citizens can get involved.
Visit www.hungerreportpa.com to:
Hunger is an overwhelming issue, but it’s a solvable one. In a country as wealthy as the United States, we have plenty of food to nourish every resident. We hope this report offers you more insight into the challenges we face in ending hunger and what more we can all do to make it a reality. Thank you, as always, for your support.
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