According to the new findings reported in Hunger in America 2010, 183,500 different people in Hawaii, over 14% of our population is receiving emergency food assistance through the Hawaii Foodbank network.
This is an increase of 39 percent over the findings reported four years ago in Hunger in America 2006, which was based on data collected in 2005.
The Hawaii Foodbank network is feeding 51,000 more people than in 2006.
Hunger in America 2010 is the first comprehensive research study that captures the connection between a weak economy and increased needs for emergency food assistance. The data was collected in the heart of the 2009 economic downturn (February-June 2009).
Top line Findings
The 183,500 different islanders provided emergency food assistance annually by the Hawaii Foodbank network include 55,050 children and over 11,000 seniors (11,010).
These numbers are based on surveys conducted at emergency feeding centers, such as soup kitchens, shelters, Ohana Produce distributions and food pantries, but do not factor in many individuals also served at non-emergency locations, such as Kids Café or BackPack programs and senior centers.
· 79 percent of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where
they will find their next meal.
· 43 percent of these client households are experiencing food insecurity with hunger, meaning they are sometimes completely without a source of food.
· 83 percent of client households with children served are also food insecure.
· Of the 183,500 people the Hawaii Foodbank network serves:
o 79 percent of households have incomes below the federal poverty line
o The average monthly income for client households is $850.
o 42 percent of households have one or more adults who is working.
Many of the client households served by Hawaii Foodbank food banks report that their household incomes are inadequate to cover their basic household expenses.
· 21 percent of client households served report having to choose between paying for utilities and food.
· 28 percent of client households said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food.
· 19 percent of client households report having to choose between paying for medical bills and food.
· 32 percent of client households must choose between transportation and food.
Over one in five client households (22 percent) do not have health insurance and nearly one third of our adult clients report that they have unpaid medical and hospital bills.
Thirteen percent of households report having at least one member of their household in poor health.
· Hawaii Foodbank network provides food and groceries to 416 food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters.
· 60 percent of pantries and soup kitchens in Hawaii rely solely on volunteers and have no paid staff.
· 58 percent of agencies in Hawaii are faith-based.