River Bend Foodbank - Feeding the Hungry Since 1982Feeding Illinois / Feeding America donate now

Hunger Myths

Myth:
Poor people are too lazy to work.

Fact:
Low unemployment rates are deceptive. Jobs that pay a living wage keep disappearing so poverty and hunger keeps increasing. A living wage means earning over $15 an hour for a family of three. Low income workers are worse off today than they were just 12 months ago. Even though our economy has seen a modest growth of 4.7% over the past year, the very workers who made it grow have not benefited. Fact is, jobs that pay a living wage are hard to come by and “underemployment” is becoming the norm for families who turn to us for help.

Myth:
It's their own fault they're poor.

Fact:
It is expensive to be poor. Your housing is usually not energy efficient, so your utility bills are higher. Your car is a money trap, but you can't afford anything better. More than likely, if you are working, you are working two part-time jobs with no benefits while trying to juggle inadequate pay to meet your family's needs. Fact is, the majority of those served by our network are children, senior citizens and work or disabled adults.

Myth:
Women just keep having babies to get more welfare.

Fact:
With the advent of welfare reform in the mid nineties, poor people can only receive welfare benefits for at total 36 months their entire lifetime. Fact is, 78% of the families seeking emergency food are female headed households with two children and only 2% of them receive welfare.

Myth:
People abuse the system, they aren't starving.

Fact:
People are not starving in this country - not like you see in third world countries - but they do suffer from “food insecurity” which means people on the low end of the economic scale skip ten or more meals each month.

Myth:
Hunger doesn't happen here.

Fact:
Fact is, in 2006, River Bend Foodbank distributed almost 4.5 million pounds of food and grocery products, in 22 counties, through over 300 charitable food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other non profit organizations.

[ Back to Top ]