This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by the Greater Boston
Food Bank. 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 Greater Boston Food Bank provides food for an
estimated 321,500 different people annually.
- 34% of the members of households served by the Greater Boston Food Bank are
children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 33% of client households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- Among households with children, 70% are food insecure and 29% are
experiencing hunger (Table 6.1.1).
- 45% of clients served by the Greater Boston Food Bank report having to choose
between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).
- 30% of clients had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical
care (Table 6.5.1).
- 23% of households served by the Greater Boston Food Bank report having at least
one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)
- The Greater Boston Food Bank included approximately 623 agencies at the
administration of this survey, of which 405 have responded to the agency survey.
Of the responding agencies, 276 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or
- 52% of pantries, 43% of kitchens, and 14% of shelters are run by faith-based
agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious
organizations (Table 10.6.1).
- 80% of pantries, 60% of kitchens, and 50% of shelters of the Greater Boston Food
Bank 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 64% of the food used by pantries, 44% of kitchens' food, and 51%
of shelters' food (Table 13.1.1).
- For the Greater Boston Food Bank, 90% of pantries, 95% of kitchens, and 73% of
shelters use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).