In honor of The Sin City Siren’s 5th birthday, I have been campaigning for the readers’ charity of choice: *God’s Groceries. The week’s nearly come to an end, and I hope that I have motivated you to donate or do some other service toward helping the needy in our community.
As I shared earlier this week, hunger and poverty are issues that are deeply personal to me. But when we look at the numbers, it’s clear to see that I’m not the only one who has a personal connection to going hungry in America.
Here are some sobering stats on the hungry and “food insecure” in America:
- According to Feed America, in 2010, households with children reported a considerably higher rate of food insecurity at 20.2 percent, compared to 11.7 percent by those without children.
- Since unemployment, rather than poverty, is the single biggest determining factor in going hungry, the economic crisis that started in 2008 has set off a high demand for food and food services/programs. In fact, America has had the highest recorded rate of hunger ever during this economic crisis.
- The rate of food insecure Americans went up from 35.5 million in 2006 to 50.2 million in 2009.
- Nearly 10 percent of households with children in 2010 had some level of food insecurity.
- According to Do Something.org, hungry adults miss more work and access health care more often than those who are food secure.
- The total cost of hunger to American society is said to be about $90 billion a year. This far exceeds the $55 billion in defense cuts threatened by the “sequestration” deadline.
But let’s bring it closer to home. What about Southern Nevada, one of the hardest hit communities by this “great recession.” How bad is it out there?
- The rate of food insecurity encompassing Southern Nevada is 16 percent, according to Three Square.
- Take a look for yourself on this map provided in a report on hunger in the valley by Three Square (God’s Groceries is an affiliated agency with Three Square). It breaks down the percentage of food insecure households by zip code. Unless my eyes are failing me, it looks like the lowest percentage is 8.5%, sadly a real anomaly in our valley (in terms of how low it is), and a high hunger mark of 27.6% (holy crap!). And don’t think that it’s all bad in the valley’s core and cream puff dreams in the suburbs. There’s a 10 to nearly 15% rate in Summerlin zip codes and 11 to 15% range in Henderson. 89109, which is fairly close to center of the valley is 18.3%. The take-away: Hunger doesn’t care where you live.
- The number of meals needed to close the gap between food needed and what is available through federal programs and charity organizations: 51 million.
- In Clark County, approximately one in eight people are hungry, according to research by Three Square.
It is obvious that hunger and food insecurity is a huge issue in our community. That’s why I am happy to support God’s Groceries and encourage you to take action today:
- You can drop by Albertson’s on Tropicana and Jones and make a donation of food or money.
- You can donate online via Paypal.
- Or, you can write a check and send it to: God’s Groceries Food Ministries, 101 South Rancho, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106.
(*Full disclosure: I am a member of one of the churches which runs the non-profit. But I did not vote in the poll.)