Although the economy is improving, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, millions of Americans continue to struggle. The prevalence of food insecurity is essentially unchanged from 2015, and rates remain higher than before the Great Recession in 2007.
As a proud state known for taking care of our own, we can—and must—do better. The need is great, and our goal to eradicate hunger in our region is even greater. In counties served by the West Texas Food Bank there are over 48,000 food insecure individuals.
The West Texas Food Bank works to feed hungry families who are seeking food. Our service area is affected by high rates of hunger, poor nutrition, and related health problems. Of our clients, 74% have incomes below the federal poverty level, 40% are children under the age of 18, and 16% are elderly.
No one chooses to be hungry. Hunger can happen for several reasons, including:
- Rising costs of living and housing, especially for those who are disabled or on a fixed income — A rising number of households report choosing between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage at least once in the past 12 months; roughly half face this choice every month.
- A family health crisis not covered by health insurance — Numerous households report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months; some of whom face this choice every month.
- Seniors unexpectedly raising grandchildren — Many Food Bank client households are headed by grandparents who have taken on the unexpected responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
- Untimely death of a family’s primary income-earner
- A single parent rearing their children after a broken marriage