Learn About Hunger

In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 7 Americans – hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society or only effect certain areas of the country, but the reality is, hunger can be found in every county in the entire United States. Millions of Americans are struggling with food insecurity each day. The good news is – there’s something we can do about it. Learn more about the problem here. Donate your time, food, funds and your voice to make a real impact on someone’s life today.

Map the Meal Gap

Feeding America believes that addressing the problem of hunger requires a thorough understanding of the problem itself. For the last five years, Feeding America has undertaken the Map the Meal Gap project to continue learning about the face of food security at the local level. By understanding the population in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance. In the state of Michigan, the overall rate of food insecurity is 16.4%, with the childhood rate slightly higher at 20.9%.

The goals of the Map the Meal Gap project are focused on equipping communities, service providers and policymakers with additional analytical tools to help understand the dynamics of food insecurity at the local level so they may use this information to better in form discussions about how to respond to the need.

There are two key findings in the report. First, food insecurity exists in every county across the country. Second, locally, as well as nationally, not all food-insecure people qualify for federal nutritional assistance, reflecting both the important role of charitable hunger relief and the need to strengthen anti-hunger programs and policies. Map the Meal Gap 2015 shows that there are millions of food-insecure people in counties across the United States who have incomes that render them ineligible for most federal food assistance programs. This suggests that federal nutrition programs, while targeted at our most vulnerable, do not serve all who are in need of food assistance.

United Way ALICE Report

ALICE stands for Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed households that are livings above the federal poverty level, but are below a basic survival threshold that includes being able to pay for housing, child care, food, health care and transportation.

Even with at least one person in the household working, 40% of working Michigan households don’t make enough to reach the basic survival threshold. Michigan has nearly 930,503 ALICE households. When those living below the poverty line are added, Michigan has 1.54 million households unable to make ends meet.

The federal poverty rate is commonly regarded as inadequate for measuring the true scope of financial need in the country. United Way believes in a research-based model in order to fully understand and best respond to the needs of our communities. There is a systemic problem that will not be solved with one magic bullet – policymakers, academics, business and social service agencies need to work together to address long-term systemic change.

Illuminating Intersections: Hunger and Health

This film discusses the intersections of food insecurity, nutrition and health. Developed as a tool to be viewed with communities, advocates, partners policymakers, board of directors, volunteers and others, it was made possible by funding from the ConAgra Foods Foundation. The film also discusses the role that nutrition and food insecurity play in the high number of clients who suffer from diet-related diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Download a discussion guide and toolkit to use with the video at www.healthyfoodbankhub.org.

Questions? Contact

Holly Cavinder

Communications Manager
hcavinder@foodbankofscm.org
269-964-3663