This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Food Bank of
Western Massachusetts. 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 Western Massachusetts provides
food for an estimated 71,900 different people annually.
- 27% of the members of households served by The Food Bank of Western
Massachusetts are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 36% of client households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- Among client households with children, 62% are food insecure and 18% are
experiencing hunger (Table 6.1.1).
- 41% of clients served by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts report having
to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table
- 28% of clients had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical
care (Table 6.5.1).
- 24% of households served by The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts report
having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)
- The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts included approximately 176 agencies at
the administration of this survey, of which 120 have responded to the agency
survey. Of the responding agencies, 94 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen,
- 50% of pantries, 62% of kitchens, and 11% of shelters are run by faith-based
agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious
organizations (Table 10.6.1).
- 79% of pantries, 72% of kitchens, and 40% of shelters of The Food Bank of
Western Massachusetts 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 74% of the food used by pantries, 51% of kitchens' food, and 42%
of shelters' food (Table 13.1.1).
- For The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, 92% of pantries, 97% of kitchens,
and 58% of shelters use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).