For the third consecutive year, Hunger Action Month has had to contend with a 1 in 6 hunger rate, the highest percentage since such monitoring began in 1995, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
As 49 million Americans struggle to put food on their plates, pantries around the country are grappling with an unprecedented demand—and diversity in clients—that they often can’t afford to accomodate.
“We are seeing many more seniors, but we’re also seeing many more families with children,” Doreen Wohl, executive director of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, told the Huffington Post. “People are coming as a last resort. They’ve exhausted all other resources.”
WSCH, the largest food pantry in New York City, has seen a 48 percent increase in clients over the past three years and served more than 88,000 meals in July alone.
Enid Borden, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels, has seen a similar swell in clients.
“In this economic downturn, we have found that those very same seniors who were once our volunteers, are now in need of our services,” Borden told the Huffington Post. “This is the richest nation on the face of the earth, but the people who raised us and fed us and tilled the soil are going hungry.” [read more]