Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Hunger Has a Face

Feeding America cover It’s easy to forget that behind every statistic on hunger lies a human being. What’s great about “Hunger in America 2010,” a report released recently from Feeding America -- one of Bread’s partners -- is that their study is based in part on personal interviews with more than 61,000 of their clients. These are people who have come through Feeding America’s vast network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters – the largest in the country.


They are people like Shonda, a mother of two who lost her teaching job because of budget cuts, and Adriana, a college-educated woman who is struggling to get back on her feet while also caring for her elderly mother.


Shonda and Adriana are two of the 37 million people Feeding America served last year -- a number that's up 46 percent from 2006. It’s a shocking increase, as Roger Thurow wrote here last Friday, and one that demands action.


Volunteers are crucial to the work of emergency feeding centers, the study also found. According to an editiorial in The New York Times, 88 percent of food pantries and 92 percent of soup kitchens on Long Island rely on volunteers. But even some of these volunteers have recently lost their jobs and are having difficulty securing food. It's a powerful reminder that ending hunger requires the hearts and hands of all of us.


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