MISSING MEALS REPORT 2013
308,000 meals still needed in Western Washington every day
Missing Meals Report 2013 InfographicAfter examining all the meals already provided through government programs, food banks, along with the meals people are able to purchase themselves, Food Lifeline’s Missing Meals Report estimates that there still 112 million meals missing for people in need every year in Western Washington. These numbers reflect data for 2012, the most recent year data is available.
That’s 308,000 meals, every day that children, seniors and adults in our communities need in order to be adequately fed. Without these meals 690,000 people in our communities are going without three nutritious meals a day.
Unique to this year’s Missing Meals Report was the visible impact the recession, and its slow recovery, are having on hunger efforts.
Although many indicators show that Western Washington communities are recovering from the recession, families and individuals are still very much struggling to put food on the table. The very low income people that food banks and meal programs have traditionally served still have tremendous need and represent 53% of the people who seek food assistance in Western Washington. For these households, the ability to rely on both food banks and SNAP together keeps the number of meals that are missing from growing even larger.
What’s changed about hunger since the recession is how it also impacts, for example, a family of three making more than $35,000 a year. These families are now also finding themselves in need of food assistance and make up 47% of those missing meals every day. Many of these individuals were laid off during the recession and although they’ve returned to work they are often underemployed and earning wages significantly lower than before the recession. Since they are not eligible for SNAP, they often (mistakenly) think food banks are closed to them as well. While they continue to struggle to get back on their feet, their local food bank or meal program is the only resource they have to help feed their families.