Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. Many Georgians are one job loss or medical crisis away from food insecurity – but some people, including children, seniors, and rural Georgians – are at greatest risk.
More than half a million children in Georgia don’t have consistent access to enough nutritious food. This can have long-term effects on their health and future. Kids who are food insecure are more likely to be held back a grade in elementary school, more likely to be sick and hospitalized, and more likely to have growth and developmental issues.
Learn more about Childhood Hunger
People who live in rural Georgia face hunger at higher rates, in part because of the unique challenges living remotely presents. These challenges include an increased likelihood of food deserts with the nearest food pantry or food bank potentially hours away, job opportunities that are more concentrated in low-wage industries, and higher rates of unemployment and underemployment.
For many seniors who are on tight post-retirement budgets, unexpected expenses lead to difficult financial decisions like having to choose between food, medicine and utilities. They often cut out more expensive, healthy foods to make ends meet. Unlike working age adults, seniors are less likely to recover from financial strain and are more likely to suffer negative health consequences from a poor diet.
Often the families we serve have at least one working adult in the household. This means that people are trying to make ends meet but they’re underemployed. Their job might pay too much for them to qualify for government benefits, but it’s not enough to provide for a family.
Pre COVID-19, 17.7% of client households had at least one member who has ever served in the military. 2.4% of clients households were active duty military. Job losses by spouses who work in the economy and school closures/remote learning are putting a strain on household budgets of active duty military families. Food Bank Agencies operating near Georgia’s military bases are reporting an increase in the number of veterans and active duty families seeking help. Georgia food banks are opening pantries on bases and delivery meals for kids in remote learning. We are advocating for a Basic Needs Allowance supplement for some 10,000 members of the military nationwide whose base pay is less than 130% of poverty.
Many families across the state do not have access to nutritious food in their community or if they do, they are unable to afford it. Without the means to purchase healthy foods, food bank recipients face tough choices about where to spend their money and what foods they eat.
had to choose between food and medical care
purchased inexpensive, unhealthy foods to stay within budget
watered down foods and drinks
of households have at least one member with high blood pressure
percent of households have at least one member with diabetes
Hunger and poor health have a significant impact on children. Kids who are food insecure are more likely to:
Suffer Growth &
Consistent access to healthy foods is critical to a bright future. Someone who is chronically sick and missing work is going to have a difficult time holding down a job. A kid who is too hungry to concentrate will struggle in school. That’s where our work starts.
The Georgia Food Bank Association and our member food banks are working to increase access to nutritious, wholesome foods and implement health-focused strategies and partnerships that will break the cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease to help make sure Georgians are hunger-free, healthy, and thriving.