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Who is Hungry

Working Families
Seniors
Children

The poor and needy from our community fall into three basic categories.  The situationally poor are people who are experiencing hunger on a temporary basis.  Perhaps a layoff, divorce or illness has forced a person to ask for food assistance at a local food pantry.  The second group is the working poor.  In today’s economy it takes two full time workers earning minimum wage to support a family of four above the poverty level.  The final category is the chronically poor.  These are people who slip into and out of poverty on a regular basis.  In 2007, the  poverty level for a family of four is $20,650. 

Working Families

Today two parents making minimum wage in Iowa and in Illinois will struggle to provide healthy food for their families and still make ends meet and still. A majority of the young families and adults seeking food assistance are working but their paychecks simply don’t stretch far enough. A medical crisis can easily wipe out the cash reserves of hard working families.

Seniors

As a nation, we have a special responsibility to vulnerable populations such as the elderly. Older Americans have built the economy and national infrastructure from which we now benefit. The people that built this country should not suffer hunger in a land of plenty, which they helped to create.  Food insecurity among this vulnerable population is especially troublesome because they have unique nutritional needs and may require special diets for medical conditions. In February 2006, America's Second Harvest released its fourth and most comprehensive study of hunger in the U.S.: Hunger in America 2006 [i]

The following are some key findings from the study regarding the elderly in our country:

Children

In 2005, 35.1 million people in the United States, including 12.4 million children, were classified as food insecure. (1)25 million Americans receive food from an emergency food program each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors.

 

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