A national report that says a growing number of Americans are in need of food also shows “hunger is increasing at an alarming rate” in an eight-county area that includes Kalamazoo County, according to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan.From what many organizations have experienced out on the front lines, this is not something completely surprising. Times are dire and we need to continue to support the basic needs of our communities. Some interesting stats:
The Food Bank, which serves more than 100,000 people a year in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties through a network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other organizations, on Tuesday released a report as part of a national Hunger in America 2010 study.
The report, produced every four years, is taken from 340 interviews with Food Bank of South Central Michigan clients and surveys of 233 of its feeding agencies.
- 78 percent of all households served are food insecure, meaning its members don’t know where their next meal will come from.
- 44 percent of all households served have to choose between paying the utility bill/heat or getting food.
- 60 percent of all households have unpaid medical or hospital bills.