One in Seven Americans Rely on Food Banks for weekly food: Study

Aug 18, 2014 02:29 AM EDT | By Staff Reporter

One in seven Americans - 46 million people - rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, the study found.

The findings reveal that 58% of people who use food banks, have had to choose between paying for food and paying for housing.  68% have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medical care.  About 60% of people using food banks receive snap benefits, a government assistance program commonly known as the Food Stamp Program.

Nationwide, 25% of military families - 620,000 households - need help putting food on the table, according to a study by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks.

The Hunger in America study found that of people who use food banks:

  • 26% are black, 20% are Hispanic, 43% are white and 11% are other.
  • 33% of households have at least one family member with diabetes.
  • 65% of households have a child under 18 or someone 60 or older.

In the past year, food banks have increased their focus on healthy foods. The study found that 79% of people who use food banks report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food just to have enough to feed their families.

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