About Hunger

In Franklin

The Town of Franklin is not immune from hunger. In 2016, the Franklin Food Pantry distributed 22,526 bags of groceries to our neighbors in Franklin that included:

  • 294 children
  • 140 seniors
  • 1,016 individuals

We distributed 251,719 pounds of food to 423 households. Most visited us monthly for supplemental food assistance; many came daily for bread and fresh produce.

Our number of visits increase around the holidays as families try to stretch their already shoestring budgets to pay for heat and electricity.

Learn more facts here.

Other Facts

Food insecurity is a real condition that can result from hunger. It can be defined in a variety of ways:

  • You don’t know where your next meal is coming from
  • You don’t know if you have enough food to provide three meals a day for your family
  • You don’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food
  • You skip your dinner meal so that your children will have enough to eat

The number of people in the United States and Massachusetts struggling with food insecurity is astounding:

  • 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger. This means that 46 million people in the United States do not have consistent access to enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life (Feeding America)
  • 13 million children in the United States face hunger (Feeding America)
  • Nearly 6 million senior citizens currently struggle with hunger (Feeding America)
  • 9.6 percent of households in eastern Massachusetts live with some level of food insecurity. (Greater Boston Food Bank) This means 1 out of every 10 people in our region experiences hunger
  • 72 percent of the households served by the Greater Boston Food Bank use a food pantry on a regular basis to have enough to eat
  • In spite of a 15-year low in unemployment, food insecurity in Massachusetts is still 24 percent higher than it was 10 years ago. Even though more people are working, cost of living expenses like housing and daycare are higher (Project Bread)

The impact of food insecurity includes:

  • High levels of stress, anxiety and depression caused by worry over how to afford enough food
  • Poor school performance and social interaction with peers by children who are hungry
  • An even more challenging experience for the senior population that is limited by a fixed income and faced with increased health expenses, physical limitations and complex nutritional needs
  • An increase in the consumption of high calorie foods with little nutritional value since they are more affordable. This can result in long-term health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity

According to Feeding America’s survey of clients in its Hunger in American Study 2014, many survive on limited budgets and need to decide between competing basic needs:

  • 69 percent had to choose between paying for food and utilities
  • 67 percent had to choose between food and transportation
  • 66 percent had to choose between food and medical care
  • 57 percent had to choose between food and housing
  • 31 percent had to choose between food and education

 

The sources below were used to compile this brief summary about hunger. Please visit these websites for more information:

Feeding America

The Greater Boston Food Bank

Project Bread

Hunger in America 2014 Study

2016 Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts

 

8/14/17