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New Survey Finds One in Six Marylanders Reported Struggling to Afford Enough Food
Report Exposes Broad Hunger and Provides Food Hardship Data for Every State, 100 Large Cities and Every Congressional District
Baltimore, Md. – March 3, 2011 – One in six respondents in Maryland reported in 2010 not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some points during the prior twelve months, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) analyzing data gathered by Gallup.
This unique report provides data on food hardship – the inability to afford enough food – for every region, every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), including the Baltimore-Towson area. For Maryland, it found that:
- In 2010, 16.5 percent of Maryland respondents said there were times in the past year that they didn’t have enough money to buy needed food.
- For the Baltimore-Towson MSA, the food hardship rate was 17.5 percent in 2010.
- Five out of the seven congressional districts in Maryland had 15 percent or more of their residents reporting food hardship in 2009-2010.
- Maryland’s rate was higher than the regional average. For the Mid-Atlantic region, 15.6 percent reported food hardship.
“These new data show us just how much people are struggling in our communities, and underline that far too many of them have found it a challenge to afford enough food for their families,” said Cathy Demeroto, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions. “Seeing that many Marylanders are finding it difficult to afford enough food for their families underscores just how important it is for the state to continue and amplify its commitment to ending hunger. Governor O’Malley has made it a priority to end childhood hunger by 2015, and we urge people across the state to join us in reaching this goal and ending hunger for all groups throughout the state.”
The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing about 350,000 households each year since January 2008 and asking a series of questions on a range of topics including emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and access to basic services. Specific to this analysis, people were asked, “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” The data gathered by Gallup were analyzed by FRAC.
“The data in this report show that food hardship – running out of money to buy the food that families need – is a challenge in every corner of this country, including every part of Maryland” said Jim Weill, President of FRAC. “With persistently high unemployment and underemployment across the nation, we have to strengthen programs that benefit those who are struggling.”
Maryland Hunger Solutions joined FRAC in expressing deep opposition to potential cuts to low-income assistance programs proposed by some in Congress for the FY 2011 budget. “Budgets can’t be balanced on the backs of those struggling to meet their basic needs – food and shelter,” said Demeroto. “These data clearly show the need in our state, and we urge our state leaders to protect programs for low-income families.”
The full report is available at www.frac.org.
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About This Report
This report is the latest in the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) series of analyses of survey data on food hardship collected by Gallup as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. It provides the most up-to-date examination of the struggle that very large numbers of American households are having affording enough food.