原文地址：http://www.usatoday.com/story/ne ... tudy-food/14195585/
Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on foodbanks
NatalieDiBlasio, USA TODAY7:53 p.m. EDT August 17, 2014
A volunteer helps distribute groceries at a food bank atthe AbundantLife Church in San Antonio.[i](Photo: Eric Gay, AP)[/i]
LORTON, Va. – When Mary Smallenburg,35, of Fort Belvoir, Va., opened a package from her mother tofind cereal and ramen noodles, she burst into tears. Without it, she wouldn'tbe able to feed her four children."It got to the pointwhere I opened my pantry and there was nothing. Nothing. What was I going tofeed my kids?" Smallenburg says, adjusting a bag of fresh groceries on herarm.Smallenburg's family is one of 50military families that regularly visit the Lorton Community Action Center foodbank. Volunteers wave a familiar hello as she walks in the door."None of what we have been through has been expected,"Smallenburg says. Three of her four children have special needs and her husbandis deployed in Korea. "The last few months actually, coming here has beena godsend."Nationwide, 25% of military families – 620,000 households – need help putting food on the table, according to a study byFeeding America, a network of 200 food banks."The results are alarming,"says Bob Aiken, chief executive officer of Feeding America. "It means thatpeople in America have to make trade-offs. They have to pick between buyingfood for their children or paying for utilities, rent and medicine."
One in seven Americans – 46 million people – rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and theirfamilies, the study found."Hunger exists inliterally every county in America," Aiken says. "It's anurban problem, it's a suburban problem, and it's a rural problem."Linda Patterson, executive director ofLorton Community Action Center, says stereotypes of the people who need foodassistance are misleading."The people who come here are hardworkers. They are employed. They are the school bus drivers, the lab techs indoctors offices, receptionists, the janitors who www.yiqing001.com clean the floor ofyour children's school," Patterson says. "They just can't make endsmeet because some kind of crisis has hit them."The Hunger in America study found thatof people who use food banks:26% are black, 20% are Hispanic, 43%are white and 11% are other.33% of households have at least onefamily member with diabetes.65% of households have a child under18 or someone 60 or older."Children are going to school, notlooking forward to learning but looking forward to eating," says ShamiaHolloway, spokeswoman for the Capital Area Food Bank.
Mary Smallenburg, 35, of Fort Belvoir,Va., is a member of one of 50 military families who regularly use the LortonCommunity Action Center food bank.(Photo: Natalie DiBlasio)
The Lorton Community Action Center hasseen an 18% increase in the number of people who need food assistance sincefood stamp benefits were cut in November, Patterson says."Many of our families, if theydon't come, will have to choose between paying rent or their kids eating that night,"Patterson says. The median monthly household income of Feeding America networkclients is $927.Sydni Marquesas, 47, of Lorton, works inmerchandising. "It doesn't pay much and they limit your hours," shesays. "Plus, Virginia just made it so hard to apply for SNAP."SNAP is the Supplemental NutritionAssistance Program, what food stamps are called now. Marquesas has usedthe food bank to get food for herself and her 14-year-old daughterfor more than a year and a half.Recently she started taking nutritionclasses through the food bank. "The classes are great,"she says. "I am learning about healthy eating on a budget."In the past year, food banks haveincreased their focus on healthy foods. The study found that 79% of people whouse food banks report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food just to haveenough to feed their families."We are seeing a change. People arestarting to understand the correlation between diet and illness," saysAllison Majewski of the Capital Area Food Bank. "They want healthier food.They are asking for dairy, meats and fresh produce."The people who come tous for help are coming more regularly," Majewski says. "Wearen't a one-time emergency stop anymore. We are a staple forthem, so it's very important that wemake these healthy foods available."
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