Poverty
6:31 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

National Study: More Triad Residents Going Hungry

A new study finds that hunger is a growing problem in Northwest North Carolina, despite reports that the economy is improving.  

Clyde Fitzgerald is with the Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He says 62 percent of his organization's partner programs report continued increases in the number of requests for food assistance.
Credit Keri Brown

The Hunger in America 2014 study is conducted every four years and it gives a snapshot of who is seeking food assistance, their circumstances, and the challenges they face with limited resources. 

Clyde Fitzgerald with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina says his organization serves 18 counties in the region and the number of people they serve has more than doubled since the last study. “Four years ago, our network was serving about 135,000 people. Today, our network is serving 300,000 people and sadly, 100,000 of those are children.”

According to the study, 78 percent of people seeking food assistance from the Second Harvest Food Bank’s network organizations live in households at or below the poverty level, with 57 percent of households having a monthly income of $1,000 or less.

The study also shows a higher percentage than the national average of adult recipients that have less than a high school diploma or its equivalent. Fitzgerald says these are working families, but many are under employed.

“A large number of people who have been displaced were in the manufacturing sector, and in most cases don’t qualify for those high-tech jobs because of a lack of education,” says Fitzgerald.

According to the Second Harvest Food Bank, the study says more than 50 percent of people seeking food assistance are white, around 30 percent are black and 11 percent are Hispanic.

WFDD will be looking at hunger and poverty in the Triad in the coming months. Click here for more information on the 2014  Hunger in America study.

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news