This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by Food Lifeline. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network.
- The FA system served by Food Lifeline provides emergency food for an estimated 387,700 different people annually.
- 28% of the members of households served by Food Lifeline are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 38% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- 34% of the clients have very low food security (Table 188.8.131.52).
- 47% of clients served by Food Lifeline report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).
- 30% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).
- 32% of households served by Food Lifeline report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1).
- Food Lifeline included approximately 218 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 204 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 180 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.
- 45% of pantries, 48% of kitchens, and 46% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).
- Among programs that existed in 2006, 88% of pantries, 77% of kitchens, and 56% of shelters of Food Lifeline reported that there had been an increase since 2006 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 agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 75% of the food distributed by pantries, 28% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 35% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).
- As many as 98% of pantries, 90% of kitchens, and 67% of shelters in Food Lifeline use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).