The Changing Face of Hunger
The important thing to remember is that hunger is right here in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It does not have a stereotype, it affects everyone. According to the USDA report released on November 15, hunger has reached an all time high in the US. In Minnesota, 1 in 10 households are food insecure -- meaning they lack consistent access to a nutritious, well-balanced diet. In the Grand Rapids area, 1 in 9 households used the Food Shelf in 2010.
“While far too many Americans are food insecure, this data provides strong evidence that the safety net helped many families at risk of hunger in 2010. This was largely due to improvements to SNAP (The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) and other programs in the economic recovery package and the ongoing support for the emergency food system,” said Susan Estee, Executive Director of Second Harvest North Central Food Bank. “Although the recession continues to impact our area, federal nutrition and charitable food assistance programs responded effectively to the rising need and prevented thousands more Minnesotans from going hungry.”
Increasing participation in SNAP benefits during the recession has helped those with very low incomes to have access to adequate food. Second Harvest is partnering with the other six Feeding America food banks in the state to promote enrollment of eligible families in the SNAP program.
Second Harvest plays a key role in hunger relief in the region. During the holidays and throughout the year, the Food Bank distributes food to struggling families, hungry children, low income seniors and the disabled. Consider what it would be like to be without food, and help Second Harvest meet the need in our communities. Together we will make a difference.