2014 Hunger in America Study (Northeast Florida)
Hunger in America Study 2014 – Feeding Northeast Florida
A study by Feeding Northeast Florida and Feeding America released in August 2014 shows that an estimated 322,300 people in 17 Northeast Florida Counties turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, and 29 percent are children under age 18 and 15 percent are seniors age 60 or older.
Northeast Florida – Key Findings on Hunger
• The unduplicated client count measures the number of unique individuals or households who access food from the charitable food assistance network. Within the area served by Feeding Northeast Florida, 38,900 unique clients are served in a typical week and 322,300 are served annually. An estimated 13,300 unique households are served in a typical week and 105,000 are served annually.
• The duplicated client count estimates the number of times individuals or households are reached through food distributions during a given time. Within this food bank’s service area, clients are reached 54,600 times in a typical week and 2,844,500 times annually. Households are reached 20,900 times in a typical week and 1,091,900 times annually.
• Client Demographics: Within this food bank’s service area, 50 percent of clients identify themselves as white, 40 percent as black or African American, and 3 percent as Hispanic or Latino. Among all clients, 29 percent are children under age 18, and 15 percent are seniors age 60 and older.
• Food Insecurity: An estimated 84 percent of households are food insecure, and 16 percent are food secure.
• Income and Poverty: An estimated 14 percent of client households have no income, 38 percent have annual incomes of $1 to $10,000, and 27 percent have annual incomes of $10,001 to $20,000. Taking into consideration household size, 69 percent of client households have incomes that fall at or below the federal poverty level.
• Health: An estimated 37 percent of households report at least one member with diabetes; 65 percent of households report at least one member with high blood pressure. Additionally, 35 percent of client households have no members with health insurance of any kind, and 68 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months.
• Education: An estimated 76 percent of all clients have attained a high school degree or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or more, and an estimated 29 percent of all clients have post-high school education (including license or certification, some college, or a four-year degree).
• Coping Strategies and Spending Trade-offs: An estimated 75 percent of households reported that they had to choose between paying for food and utilities in the past 12 months, and 69 percent of households chose between paying for food and transportation in the past 12 months. An estimated 79 percent of households reported using multiple strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months, including eating food past its expiration date, growing food in a garden, pawning or selling personal property, and watering down food or drinks.
• Housing: An estimated 86 percent of households reside in non-temporary housing, such as a house or apartment, and 14 percent of households reside in temporary housing, such as a shelter or mission, a motel or hotel, or on the street. 59 percent of households chose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage at least once in the past 12 months. An estimated 19 percent of respondents have experienced a foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.
• Employment: An estimated 52 percent of households have a household member who had worked for pay in the last 12 months; in 67 percent of client households the most-employed person from the past 12 months is currently out of work.
• SNAP Participation: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program and known in different states under alternative names) is the largest nutrition assistance program. Participating low-income households receive monthly SNAP benefit allotments in the form of electronic debit cards (also known as EBT, or electronic benefit transfer). An estimated 60 percent of client households currently receive SNAP benefits.
• An estimated 42 percent of the food bank’s partner agencies reported employing paid staff. The median number of paid full-time-equivalent staff (assuming a 40-hour work week) was three (3).
• A median of eight (8) volunteers a week provided a median of 31 volunteer hours to programs each week.