As the only food bank in west central Wisconsin, Feed My People distributes 125,000+ pounds of food a week and 7 million pounds a year to local agencies. We are a cost effective way to provide pantries, community tables, and shelters enough food so thousands of people can be helped each month.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Rural Hunger: A difficult problem to address
According to the USDA, food insecurity affects nearly 49 million Americans. Nowhere is this problem more difficult to address than in rural areas. Reaching those in need is much more complicated in rural areas, and the stigma of seeking help is greater.
Since 1982, Feed My People has been serving west central Wisconsin, helping 60,000 people every year.
According to the 2010 Census, over 19 percent of Americans – 59 million people—live in non-metropolitan areas throughout the United States. These rural communities face many unique challenges. They generally experience higher poverty and unemployment rates, have less access to public transportation and therefore lack access to government services that could be available to them, and face higher prices at the grocery store.
In addition, just as in urban areas, the costs of living, including heating and housing costs are on the rise. But people in rural areas often must drive farther to find work, forcing many to choose between putting food on the table or gas in the car.
“There are fewer pantries, community meal programs and shelters to provide emergency food to those in need, and a greater social stigma to accepting help than is found in urban areas,” said Suzanne Becker, Feed My People’s assistant director.
Feed My People is working with Feeding America to make sure that everyone—even in difficult to reach areas—is able to put food on the table.
Together, we can provide hope to Americans facing hunger.