Thirty communities in western Massachusetts have hunger rates that are six times higher than the statewide average.
Read The Food Bank’s fact sheet (PDF).
Click here for more local, national, and international hunger resources.
Hunger in America 2014 is a research study conducted to capture the significant connection between the current economy and an increased need for emergency food assistance, on a local and national level. The number of children and adults in need of food as a result of experiencing food insecurity has increased by 32 percent nationally since 2010. Across the country, 49 million people seek emergency food assistance, including 12 million children.
The data are based on surveys conducted at emergency feeding centers, such as meal sites and food pantries, but do not factor in many individuals also served at non-emergency locations in The Food Bank’s network, such as childcare centers and senior centers.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts participated in the Hunger in America study by conducting dozens of client interviews at emergency food sites across Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties.
An estimated 14,600 people receive emergency food assistance each week from a food pantry, meal site, or shelter served by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Top line Findings for Western Massachusetts
To read a summary of the local results, download our Fact Sheet for Western Massachusetts.
Read the full Western Massachusetts report. (Note: this is a large file)
Read more about Feeding America’s national results.
This groundbreaking study provides us, for the first time, with accurate food-insecurity numbers that are broken down to the local level.
Feeding America, the national organization of food banks, discovered that almost 49 million Americans nationwide are food-insecure. They must turn to charitable food assistance—like that provided by The Food Bank and our member agencies—to make ends meet.
(Click here to see Feeding America’s interactive “Meal Gap” map.)
Through “Map the Meal Gap,” we are able to see, for the first time, what these numbers mean nationally. In Western Massachusetts, over one-third of our food-insecure neighbors do not qualify for federal assistance. These hard-working families and individuals reported a food budget shortfall of over $48 million. They rely on The Food Bank
Below, you can see the ‘Map the Meal Gap’ data for Western Massachusetts.
Total population: 131,219
Number of food Insecure individuals: 14,200
Food Insecurity Rate: 10.9%
Cost of 1 meal: $3.34
Total population: 71,372
Number of food Insecure individuals: 7,330
Food Insecurity Rate: 10.2%
Cost of 1 meal: $3.17
Total population: 463,490
Number of food Insecure individuals: 58,340
Food Insecurity Rate: 12.6%
Cost of 1 meal: $2.85
Total population: 158,080
Number of food Insecure individuals: 15,730
Food Insecurity Rate: 9.9%
Cost of 1 meal: $3.21
On August 11, 2011, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released the latest data on food hardship – the inability to afford enough food.