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19 August 2014

Over 750K in Metro Atlanta & North Georgia Use Food Assistance Services to Feed Their Families

A new study by Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and Feeding America shows that 1 in 7 people, or an estimated 755,400 people, in metro Atlanta and north Georgia turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families each year. This includes more than 164,000 children and more than 64,000 seniors.

The Hunger in America 2014 report shows that 80,600 people are served each week by programs supported through ACFB and that those clients turn to ACFB partner programs and pantries for help more than 6.1 million times over the course of the year. This means clients are visiting ACFB network programs an average of 8 times a year.

Nationally, Hunger in America 2014 found that more than 46 million people turn to agencies and programs of the Feeding America network of food banks every year. ACFB has been a member of the Feeding America network since 1979.

The new study documents household demographics and offers a snapshot of the people served by ACFB – their circumstances, the challenges they face and the choices they are forced to make living on extremely limited household incomes.

"The results of this study show us that the face of hunger is one we might recognize," said Bill Bolling. "Many of our neighbors who are seeking food assistance have jobs, raise families, and try to better their lives like all of us. As we look ahead to Hunger Action Month this September, it is important to remember the critical work the Atlanta Community Food Bank does every day, and how much more we can do together to solve hunger."

"The Hunger in America 2014 findings demonstrate the urgent need for all of us to address hunger in our communities," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. "This data provides a factual basis for decisions about how we as a nation approach hunger relief and protect our most vulnerable citizens."

Among the findings – the report reveals very telling facts about the employment and income situations of ACFB clients.

  • Among all households served by ACFB agencies and programs, 59 percent have at least one member who has been employed in the past year.
  • 56 percent of client households report monthly incomes of less than $1,000.
  • 28 percent of study respondents have faced foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.
Hunger in America 2014 was conducted using rigorous academic research standards and was peer reviewed by a technical advisory team including researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and the Urban Institute. Nationally, confidential responses were collected on electronic tablets by 6,000 trained volunteer data collectors.

The study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

A summary of the findings is available at acfb.org. The full national report is available on Feeding America's website at Hunger in America 2014