The statistics on hunger in America and in the Pender/Onslow area are startling. We talk about food insecurity, which refers to a household being unable to provide enough food for its members to be active and healthy. In human terms, it means that parents don’t know if they will be able to feed their children tonight or tomorrow or the next day.
There are a lot of myths about hunger and it’s important to know the facts.
Myth: America is one of the richest countries in the world and no one goes hungry here.
Fact: Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021, based on past statistics and the continuing effects of the pandemic.
Fact: Many people in America are considered “the working poor.” They are employed but their jobs just don’t pay enough for them to be able to support their families. The minimum wage in North Carolina remains at $7.25/hour. Someone with a 40-hour a week job at that rate would make $15,000 a year, before taxes, not enough to feed a family and pay bills.
Myth: It won’t happen to me.
Fact: The Federal Reserve Board recently conducted a survey that found that, if faced with a $400 emergency expense, almost half of adults in the US would not have the money. When an emergency arises with a car expense or a medical expense, having to cover that bill would probably mean that the family will not have enough left over for food that month.
Myth: Pender and Onslow Counties don’t experience this kind of hunger.
Fact: In 2019, 13.2% of the population of Pender County was food insecure and 19.1% of the children in Pender experienced hunger. In Onslow County, 14.6% of the population and 20.3% of the children were food insecure. These numbers have increased over the past year as the pandemic has caused financial hardships for many of our local residents.
Myth: Food banks like Share the Table get enough grant money and corporate support to finance their operations.
Fact: While Share the Table is grateful for the corporate support, financial contributions from area churches, and grant money we do receive, most of our financial support comes from individual donors. We depend on donations from concerned citizens and visitors to our area to help us feed 1200 people every week through our three main programs.
The fact is that the need to feed the hungry has increased significantly in our area, in part because of the pandemic. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to move to a larger facility so we can continue serving our neighbors with a food pantry, a community meal, and a backpack program for school children. We need your support to make it all happen!
You can be a Hunger Hero! Please consider a donation to our Capital Campaign to help change the lives of those in such need in our area. Thank you for your support!