This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Houston Food Bank. 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 The Houston Food Bank provides emergency food for an estimated 865,800 different people annually.
- 47% of the members of households served by The Houston Food Bank are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).
- 49% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).
- Among households with children, 82% are food insecure and 29% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 188.8.131.52).
- 60% of clients served by The Houston Food Bank report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).
- 43% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).
- 29% of households served by The Houston Food Bank report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1).
- The Houston Food Bank included approximately 328 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 275 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 250 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.
- 79% of pantries, 50% of kitchens, and 31% 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, 83% of pantries, 46% of kitchens, and 61% of shelters of The Houston Food Bank 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 77% of the food distributed by pantries, 51% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 49% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).
- As many as 96% of pantries, 85% of kitchens, and 92% of shelters in The Houston Food Bank use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).