Nearly 17,400 households in the United Way’s six county service area are receiving Food Assistance through the State. These households are receiving an average of $10 a day, or $4.00 a day for individuals. Feeding yourself for $4.00 a day is challenging, at best. For some people, this may be the only funds they have to spend on food. How would you buy groceries on just $4.00 a day?
AUDIO EXTRA: Listen to our podcast on the issue:
[gplayer href="http://unitedwayofeastcentraliowa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/food-instability-podcast-judy-jan-2012.mp3" ] Financial stability podcast Jan. 2012 [/gplayer]
Audio not playing? Read a transcript here.
Local food pantries and meal sites are witnessing an increase in the number of individuals in need of food assistance. United Way surveyed individuals who utilize food pantries and meal sites and learned that many low-income households are making multiple stops to piece together meals for their family. Their first stop is often the nearest food pantry. The type and quantity of food received is largely dependent upon generous donations from people in the community. Therefore, a person may need to make a second or even third stop to other food pantries. The last stop for low-income households is generally a grocery store where they use their Food Assistance (SNAP benefit) to piece together the items still needed to meet their family’s nutritional needs. This all requires careful planning to make sure that there is enough food. We know that when people make sacrifices to their diet, they are more likely to have health and development problems.
We sympathize with the struggle. United Way is working with partners in the community to inform low-income residents of the food assistance program (SNAP) and help them apply for SNAP. In addition to helping individuals get enrolled in SNAP, United Way 2-1-1 can help locate nearby food pantries and meal sites.
Our goal is to help people become financially stable and healthy. UWECI funds the HACAP Food Reservoir which secured and distributed over 2 million pounds of food to local food pantries and meal sites last year . UWECI is committed to helping low income households meet their basic needs, stabilize, and develop work related skills so they can build their own financial success.