Hunger In America Study

Largest, Most Comprehensive Analysis of Charitable Food Assistance in America Reports 35,600 Served by Food Bank for Larimer County Annually…

hunger-in-americaA new study by Food Bank for Larimer County and Feeding America shows that 1 in 10 people, or an estimated 35,600 people, in Larimer County turn to the Food Bank and partner food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. Nationally, Hunger in America 2014 found that more than 46 million people rely on the Feeding America network of food bank programs every year.

In addition to determining the number of individuals receiving assistance, the study documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by the Food Bank for Larimer County. It is also the first nationally-representative study that assesses the prevalence of past and current members of the U.S. Military and adult students receiving charitable food assistance.

“The results of this study show us that the face of hunger is one we might recognize,” said Amy Pezzani, Executive Director, Food Bank for Larimer County. “Many of our neighbors who are seeking food assistance have jobs, raise families, work toward education and struggle with health problems, like all of us. Too often, our clients also have to make difficult trade-offs to get enough food for their families. As we look ahead to/honor Hunger Action Month this September, it is important to remember the critical work we do every day, and how much more we can do together to solve hunger in our community.”

“The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate theurgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “This data provides a factual basis for decisions about how we as a nation approach hunger relief and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

Key Statistics from the Report

  • 35,600 unduplicated residents receive assistance annually from the Food Bank and partner agencies.
  • 828 client households include someone who is a veteran or who has ever served in the military.
  • 1 in 5 client households include a member with a four-year college degree or higher.
  • 73.4 percent of client households earn less than $20,000 per year.
  • 19.2 percent of adult clients are students (part- or full-time).
  • 87 percent of client households report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food because they could not afford healthier options.
  • 72 percent of client households have medical bills to pay.

Tough Choices

The study illustrates the challenges and tough choices thousands of neighbors are forced to make while living on extremely limited household incomes. Following are the choices client households in Larimer County reported making in the past 12 months:

  • 76 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities.
    • 40 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 67 percent report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation.
    • 39 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 79 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care.
    • 38 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 54 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing.
    • 33 percent of these households are making the choice every month.
  • 39 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for school loans, tuition or other educational expenses.
    • 31 percent are making the choice every month.