This morning Feeding America, the national organization that coordinates the efforts of 205 food banks throughout the nation, released the 2009 Economic Impact Survey results. This survey was presented to food banks, their partner agencies, and the clients served at these agencies. Sadly, the overall findings aren’t shocking. With a recession and rising unemployment, the demand for hunger relief in America is growing at an alarming rate.
The demand for food has grown an estimated 30% nationally. More than half (55%) of food banks reported that they or the agencies who help distribute the food they provide have had to turn people away in the last year. These national numbers mirror those collected in Central Florida by our local food pantries and soup kitchens.
In my position with the food bank I get to see these statistics embodied on a daily basis. I can attest that 98% of our agencies are seeing first-time clients and that 56% of our agencies are seeing large increases in children needing hunger relief. Ultimately, I also witness the sobering fact that 78% of partner agencies on the national level have had to reduce the amount of food provided or the frequency of food distributions in their community.
Absolutely every one of the volunteers and staff at our 539 partner feeding programs has the passion to fight hunger. Lately the need has been relentless and our partners haven be working, stretching and digging deep to provide for their community. It is an honor to partner with nonprofits and faith-based operations that give so much and ask for nothing in return.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida was able to provide over 21 million lbs of food to local pantries and kitchens last year and as is evident in the survey results, we need to provide more. Hunger has a solution, and we would like you to be a part of it. Please contact me to learn more about ways you can help fight hunger in Central Florida.
Director of Agency Relations & Programs
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
407.295.1066 ext. 30