For 34 years the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina has restored hope, dignity, and a sense of normality to thousands of people through the simple provision of food. We continue to climb this mountain of great need, even as it grows higher and higher in front us.
For years we’ve told you about the half million people living at or below the poverty line in our 34 county service area, earning an annual income of $23,283 or less for a family of four. We’ve also told you about the families and individuals that hover right above that line who also rely on our services to simply make ends meet.
This year the Food Bank is making a big change to better serve our neighbors in need.
Joining Feeding America and the USDA, from now on we will address not just our neighbors living in poverty but the greater food insecurity rates in our 34 county service area to properly represent the population we serve and the tremendous need. We will continue our commitment to feed those living with hunger and will be more focused than ever as we deliver care through our programs to serve children, families, and seniors.
Food insecurity is the state of being unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life. The households we serve experience limited or uncertain access to food, at times unsure of where they will find their next meal.
We believe that by using this term we will more accurately describe and measure the struggles these families face every day, creating a context for the circumstances that lead to hunger. Because hunger has grown into an epidemic, more prevalent than ever and affecting more than just the families living at or below the poverty line. Food insecurity has now emerged as a defined reality for hundreds of thousands of hard working Americans who still cannot keep food on the table.
So what is the reality for the communities we serve?
651,000 people live in food insecure households in our 34 county service area. Half of them are children and seniors. 62 percent of these households have had to choose between paying for food and paying the rent or mortgage. This percentage has doubled within the past four years.
Our expanded focus on food insecurity shines a harsh light on the reality that even more people, 91,000 more than poverty rates tell us, need consistent help to feed their families. The need is greater than ever before. Your partnership is more vital now than at any point during the past 34 years.
Every action, whether a donation of funds, food, or time, adds up to feeding hundreds of thousands of people in our 34 county service area. Every dollar counts. Every action makes a difference. And every person we help matters.
Visit our website to learn more and download our Hunger Action Month 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar for ideas of how to get involved and help feed local families: www.foodbankcenc.org/HAM