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2014 Map the Meal Gap Study Uncovers Hunger in Northeast Tennessee

Nation-wide Research Reveals Poverty to be Most Impactful to Consistent Food Access

Feeding America’s Annual Map the Meal Gap results released today show food insecurity continues to remain high in Northeast Tennessee . According to the newly released data, 14.8 percent of people in the area are food insecure, including 26,830 children.  Nationally, 15.9% of people are considered food insecure according to the study which also shows results state by state.  In Tennessee 17.1% of people are food insecure, above the national average.

Food insecurity is defined by the USDA as a socioeconomic condition of limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.  People with low food security say they are worried their food will run out, they cannot afford balanced meals, they cut the size of their meals or skipped meals.

“Studies like Map the Meal Gap 2014 allow Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to continue to evaluate and adjust to the need in our area. The research data includes weekly food-budget shortfalls, demographics and poverty levels which help us define the social issues plaguing our area and work together as a community to find a solution. Local key findings show the average cost of a meal is $2.77 and the weekly food-budget shortfall is $534,330. This means that 72,580 individuals may be food insecure in Northeast Tennessee.  The average number of people receiving food assistance from agencies and programs of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is 40,000 per month.

Map the Meal Gap 2014 is a detailed analysis of food insecurity done by Feeding America and the only study available that provides county–level estimates of food insecurity in the United States. The information is provided in an interactive map that allows viewers to find out how widespread hunger is in their community. The map can be found at http://www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.

 

 

 

Research for the study was generously supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen.

 

“Hunger is a pervasive and solvable problem plaguing every corner of America today,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “By continuing to provide extensive and revealing data like the 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, we will be able to tackle these issues head-on and be armed with the information needed to work towards making sure everyone has enough to eat.”

 

The Map the Meal Gap 2014 analysis was developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen for Feeding America. Food-insecurity rates are based on a state-level model that allows for the population in need of food at the county and congressional district level. Additionally, Feeding America worked in collaboration with Nielsen to arrive at estimates for food-cost variation by county. Results were reviewed by the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group in order to ensure accuracy and promote transparency.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Mobile Food Pantry Aids Northeast TN Seniors

Margaret, who is in her seventies, helped her husband farm for shares when he was alive. Now she survives on just over $400 a month in Social Security. When she can find the work and her health allows, she cleans houses to supplement her Social Security income. At times, she must choose between food and medications, rent or gas.Margaret’s story is increasingly common throughout the country and throughout Northeast Tennessee.

Feeding America has conducted extensive research on the issue and reported that the number of older adults is projected to increase by 36% over the next decade.  They also cite the fact that seniors are more likely to go hungry if they live in a southern state.  This finding is the due to the fact that southern states have rural areas with less access to communication and transportation networks than urban/metro areas.

Second Harvest Food Bank is well aware of this situation and has decided to take action through its Mobile Food Pantry program.  Bags of healthy, nutritious foods are distributed to needy seniors and families.  In fact, Mobile Food Pantry currently assists 470 seniors per month via its 33 sites.  For more information on the Mobile Food Pantry program, you may go to the Food Bank’s website or contact Austin Phillips at 423.477.4053, x. 225 or outreach@netfoodbank.org.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Food Bank Programs

 

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There Are Many Ways to Help Fight Hunger

ImageBecause of the giving nature of Northeast Tennessee citizens, the Food Bank is able to serve 38,000 individuals on a monthly basis.  We are also able to ensure that more than 4,100 children that are labeled as “chronically hungry” have nutritious food and snacks through our Food for Kids program

The Food Bank is grateful to all of our supporters who give their time, money, food or their voice to the effort of hunger relief. 

Even though September was Hunger Action Month, we thought that this blog post by Aimee Fortney was still appropriate.  The Food Bank greatly appreciates our volunteers and their commitment to service. 

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Student Food Drive Promotes Charity And Student Development

The Food Bank began its 5th annual Student Food Drive on October 2, 2012 with a Kick-Off Party for participating students.

Students and Advisors from area high schools have signed up to hold food drives and help raise food to feed people in the region with a food drive that runs from October 2 to November 8.  High school students challenge each other to participate in this challenge to receive cash awards based on school population and the amount of pounds of food collected per student.

The Student Food Drive accomplishes two goals – to participate in the immediate effort of collecting food and donating it to the Food Bank; and, to encourage young people to either start or enhance their commitment to volunteer service.  The Food Drive develops student leadership by challenging them to raise food, collect money to purchase food, and then find a way to deliver the food to the Food Bank. Last year over 38,000 pounds of food was collected by high school students in the region.

Supporters of the Food Bank are encouraged to support their local school’s efforts.  All high schools in the eight-county region that still wish to participate are encouraged to contact the Food Bank at (423)477-4053, x. 224 or donatefood@netfoodbank.org to sign up.

 

 

 
 

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Larger Facility Will Help Food Bank in Meeting Long-Term Goals

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The Board of Directors of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee announced at 11 AM on Friday, July 13, 2012 the purchase of a larger warehouse facility to accommodate the region’s critical need for food assistance.  The new headquarters is at 1027 Jericho Drive, off of I-81 at Exit 63 and is centrally located for the convenience of the Food Bank’s eight-county service area.

According to Executive Director Rhonda Chafin, the move is a key component of the Food Bank’s strategic plan.  “Simply put, the Food Bank has outgrown its current space.  In addition, the Food Bank has seen a 52 percent increase since 2007 in the number of households requiring emergency and supplemental food assistance, and the new facility will allow us to ensure that all of our partner agencies can effectively provide nutritious food to our most vulnerable individuals and families. “

Other benefits of the new location are that the Food Bank’s 200 partner agencies will have access to a larger inventory of food product, and the warehouse staff will be better equipped to accommodate the partner agencies.  The new facility will allow the organization to save funds by taking advantage of additional donated and purchased food.  Also, the new facility will allow for the formation of new programs and services to assist individuals receiving food assistance on a monthly basis. 

Some renovations will be needed to equip the new location for operations.  A cost-effective building renovation is being planned and includes a combination of in-kind donations and contracted work.  The Food Bank plans to secure financial support for these projects through private donations and other funding sources.  The relocation will take place sometime during Fiscal Year 2013.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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School Pantry Program Has Potential to Curb Child Hunger

According to findings from a Second Harvest Food Bank Community Needs Assessment, a School Pantry program has the potential to reach many students who could benefit from food assistance yet are unable or unwilling to take advantage of current opportunities for food assistance, or also known as “interventions.” 

Interviews with school nurses, counselors, teachers and other community stakeholders noted that the Food Bank’s Food for Kids program is necessary and worthwhile. Sadly, however, those interviewed stated that a social stigma was associated with receiving the backpack; and for this reason, many children and youth do not participate.  A school pantry could offer an opportunity for the parents of children and youth to access needed food in a safe and neutral environment.

The Food Bank has started two School Pantries, one with Greeneville City Schools and their Family Resource Center and another with First United Methodist Church in Johnson City, TN. For more information about the School Pantry program, contact Mary Beth Williams, Child Hunger Corps Specialist, at 423.477.4053, x. 226.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Polling Data Shows Overwhelming Support for Efforts to End Hunger

The Food Research and Action Council (FRAC) conducted a survey on citizen’s attitudes to hunger.  By an overwhelming margin, American voters opposed cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) as a way to reduce government spending. Seventy-seven percent of voters say this is the wrong way to reduce spending and only 15 percent favor cutting such assistance.

  • The opposition to cutting food stamps crossed party lines: 92 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Republicans say this is the wrong way to reduce spending.
  • Only nine percent of those polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors cutting funds for the food stamp program; half said they would be less likely.
  • Opposition to food stamp cuts is even more overwhelming than in polling data FRAC released in November 2010, when 71 percent said it was the wrong way to cut spending.

Voters are broadly concerned about the nation’s hunger problem: 81 percent say that low-income families and children not being able to afford enough food to eat is a serious problem.

The poll of 1,013 registered voters was conducted by Hart Research Associates from January 11-17, 2012. Support for ending hunger and protecting food stamps was high across party lines, age, race, gender, income, and geographical areas.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Polling Data Shows Overwhelming Support for Efforts to End Hunger

The Food Research and Action Council (FRAC) conducted a survey on citizen’s attitudes to hunger.  By an overwhelming margin, American voters opposed cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) as a way to reduce government spending. Seventy-seven percent of voters say this is the wrong way to reduce spending and only 15 percent favor cutting such assistance.

  • The opposition to cutting food stamps crossed party lines: 92 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Republicans say this is the wrong way to reduce spending.
  • Only nine percent of those polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors cutting funds for the food stamp program; half said they would be less likely.
  • Opposition to food stamp cuts is even more overwhelming than in polling data FRAC released in November 2010, when 71 percent said it was the wrong way to cut spending.

Voters are broadly concerned about the nation’s hunger problem: 81 percent say that low-income families and children not being able to afford enough food to eat is a serious problem.

The poll of 1,013 registered voters was conducted by Hart Research Associates from January 11-17, 2012. Support for ending hunger and protecting food stamps was high across party lines, age, race, gender, income, and geographical areas.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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AAA East Tennessee Travel Show January 21 to Benefit Food Bank

AAA East Tennessee Travel Show January 21

to Benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee

Tri-Cities, TN – Make plans to attend the annual AAA East Tennessee Travel Show and help support Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee on Saturday, January 21, 2012. This year’s event is being held atMeadowviewConvention Center inKingsport fromNoon until4:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for AAA members and $6 for non-members or $5 plus a donation of 3 cans of food at the door. Proceeds from the event benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Cruise lines and tour companies will be on hand offering great travel discounts and upgrades. Door prizes will also be given away throughout the afternoon. You can make your travel plans and reservations on site or simply gather information for future travel plans.

The Food Bank’s mission is to feed the hungry by securing and distributing food and grocery products to non-profitagenciesthat provide services to the needy in the eight-county region ofNortheast Tennessee. The Food Bank is experiencing record demand for food. You can help the food bank feed people in need by attending the travel show.

For more information contact AAA in Johnson City at (423)928-7671 or the Food Bank at (423)477-4053.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Help us Create a Holiday Wish List to Fight Hunger!

Second Harvest is asking you (our great supporters/volunteers) to help us create a holiday wish list to fight hunger.  Help us come up with a creative list by sharing your ideas with us.

Think big—what would you like to see happen for hunger relief in 2012? These questions might help get you started:

  • What should Congress do to end hunger?
  • What would be the biggest help for food banks?
  • How cand YOU - individual Americans – make a difference?
  • What should corporate America do to help?

These ideas may be the start of something big. Help Second Harvest start the New Year off right!

Thank you!

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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