This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2006, conducted for America's Second Harvest (A2H), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 52,000 clients served by the A2H food bank network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 30,000 A2H agencies. The study summarized below focuses mainly on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the A2H network.
- The A2H system served by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley provides food for an estimated 172,300 different people annually.
- 24% of the members of households served by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 31% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- Among households with children, 73% are food insecure and 18% are experiencing hunger (Table 6.1.1).
- 20% of clients served by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).
- 19% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).
- 17% of households served by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)
- The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley included approximately 315 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 232 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 200 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.
- 73% of pantries, 48% of kitchens, and 50% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).
- 68% of pantries, 76% of kitchens, and 82% of shelters of the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley reported that there had been an increase since 2001 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).
- Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for the agencies, accounting for 92% of the food used by pantries, 61% of kitchens' food, and 59% of shelters' food (Table 13.1.1).
- For the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, 92% of pantries, 95% of kitchens, and 70% of shelters use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).