FNS outreach efforts highlighted by AARP

How do I apply for NC Food Assistance?A recent article by AARP highlights efforts to reach seniors who face food hardship.  One way of addressing food hardship among seniors and other groups is encouraging them to apply for Food & Nutrition Services (FNS).  FNS participation among seniors is low compared to other groups; only about 30% of eligible seniors receive FNS benefits in North Carolina.  The NC Association of Feeding America Food Banks is helping to enroll seniors (and other eligible groups) in FNS, thereby reducing the need for seniors to decide between purchasing food or paying for utilities or health care.  This outreach is desperately needed, as a new Census poverty measurement reveals that nearly 16% of seniors live in poverty, primarily due to high out-of-pocket medical expenses.



Food & Nutrition Services helps some people stay above poverty line

The U.S Census Bureau recently reported that 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010.  While harsh economic conditions and high unemployment create challenges for many households, Food & Nutrition Services (known as SNAP nationally), helped an estimated 3.9 million Americans stay above the poverty line in 2010.  Households receiving Food & Nutrition Services are able to use their benefits to purchase food, which frees up money for other necessities, such as utilities and medicine.  To read the full summary from the Food Research & Action Center, click here.

Eastern NC experiencing significant food hardship

The recently released report by the Food Research & Action Center indicates that nearly one in three Eastern North Carolinians experienced food hardship in 2010.  The state’s 1st congressional district ranks second among all 436 congressional districts in the country for food hardship.  G.K. Butterfield, representative of the state’s 1st congressional district, recognizes the importance of federal nutrition programs to address the growing hunger problem.  Rep. Butterfield states that while cuts need to be made to the federal budget, these cuts should not fall on low-income families.  Read the full article at ENCToday.com.

Food Hardship Worsens in North Carolina

A recent report by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) reveals that North Carolina ranks 6th in the nation for food hardship, a downward trend from the state’s ranking as 9th in the nation in 2009.  Among the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with the highest food hardship rates, Winston-Salem, Greensboro-High Point, and Asheville ranked 3rd, 4th, and 7th, respectively.  These numbers highlight the importance of federal nutrition programs, such as Food & Nutrition Services, as well as the role that food banks play in addressing the hunger needs of North Carolinians.  Read the full report here.

Cold weather hits Ashe County residents hard

The cold weather that Ashe County residents have experienced this winter is making it difficult to pay for basic needs, such as heat and food.  In Ashe County and beyond, many low-income households are faced with the decision to pay utility bills or buy food because they lack the income to pay for both.  Programs such as Food & Nutrition Services ease this difficult decision since FNS benefits free up income that would otherwise be spent on food, allowing households to use that money for other necessities, such as paying a utility bill.  Read the full story in the Mountain Times.

More than 50 million Americans struggled to get enough food to eat in 2009

Results from a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that more than 50 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat in 2009 because of financial difficulties and a struggling economy.  Food insecurity among U.S. households increased from 2008 but not as much as some had feared.  Programs such as Food & Nutrition Services (known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) have helped many families put food on the table.  One in eight Americans, or 42 million, now use Food & Nutrition Services/SNAP.  Read more about the USDA findings at npr.org.

FNS helps keep families above poverty line

A new report by the Census Bureau reveals that 14.3% of Americans live in poverty, or 43.6 million people.  For individuals age 18-65, the poverty rate is the highest its been since the 1960s, when the federal government launched a number of “War on Poverty” programs.  Experts claim that government safety net programs, such as Food & Nutrition Services, have helped keep households above the poverty line.  Read the full Associated Press article.

Asheville Metro Area experiencing increased poverty and food stamp caseloads

Like many parts of North Carolina, the Asheville Metro Area is experiencing increased poverty and unemployment, and as a result, increased caseloads at the local DSS offices.  Individuals and families are having a tough time making ends meet and finding work that allows them to pay their bills.  They are relying on the good work of community organizations and valuable government supports to get them through this difficult economic climate.  Read more in the Mountain Express.

Triad families hit hard by the economy

The economic recession gripping the nation is having ripple effects in North Carolina with higher unemployment rates and a rise in poverty.  These conditions have meant more people are in need of food assistance.  Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is now serving one in eight people in the Triad region, and participation in Food & Nutrition Services (formerly the Food Stamp Program) is rapidly increasing in the region and throughout the state.  Read more on this story in the Greensboro News & Record