Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SNAP/Food Stamps -- Half of U.S. Children

A study reports that half of U.S. children by age 20 will live in households receiving SNAP/Food Stamps. "This is what we can expect over a period of time, not just during a recession," said author Mark Rank of Washington University in St. Louis. "It shows that the period of childhood, rather than a period of safety and security, is really a time, for a lot of kids, of economic turmoil and risk." Since only 67 percent of eligible people actually receive SNAP/Food Stamps, according to USDA, the study may underestimate the number of families finding it hard to put food on the table. In July 2009, 35.8 million Americans - 6.8 million more than in July 2008 - received SNAP/Food Stamps. About half of that number are children.
Source: USAToday, By Liz Szabo, Nov 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1 in 6 CHILDREN is "Food Insecure" in the United States
36 MILLION AMERICANS don't know where they will get their next meal.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What does St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance do?

Does it really matter?
This video produced by a food bank agency partner answers both questions simply and honestly.
Judge for yourself:


Dr. Borlaug, who led the so-called Green Revolution that created bumper crops in once impoverished countries like Mexico, India and Pakistan recently died. In lauding Dr. Borlaug’s achievements, the United NationsWorld Food Program said he had saved more lives than any man in history.
Despite his accomplishments, more people are hungry today than ever and that total should exceed one billion people this year for the first time, according to the United Nations.
How can so many people be hungry when farmers produce enough food, at least in theory, to feed every person on the planet?
The answers are complex and involve everything from American farm politics and African corruption to war, poverty,
climate change and drought, which is now the single most common cause of food shortages on the planet.
Source: New York Times, By ANDREW MARTIN, Sept. 19, 2009
Full story:


The number of working Americans turning to free government food stamps has surged as their hours and wages erode, in a stark sign that the recession is inflicting pain on the employed as well as the newly jobless.
While the increase in take-up is often attributed to the sharp rise in unemployment – which on Friday
hit 9.7 per cent – the Financial Times has learned that some 40 per cent of the families now on food stamps have “earned income”, up from 25 per cent two years ago.
Source: Financial Times, By Sarah O’Connor, Sept. 4 2009
Full story:

Thursday, September 17, 2009


New numbers released Monday from St. Mary's Food Bank show it has already distributed more food in the first eight months of this year than it did in all of 2008 and most of using the assistance have never used it before.
St. Mary's CEO and President Terry Shannon says the demand for emergency food assistance has skyrocketed and nearly 53 million pounds of food in 13 of Arizona's 15 counties were distributed last month.
Source: ABC Channel 15 Phoenix, by Tara Twietmeyer, Sept. 14, 2009
Full Story:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

36.2 million people face food insecurity and hunger everyday in America ... . 12.4 million are children... hunger finds many more everyday

Friday, September 11, 2009

Consumers Can't Afford Healthy Food

Fewer Consumers Can Afford to Buy Healthy Foods: According to a recent survey by Chicago-based food industry research firm Technomic, the recession is playing havoc with shoppers’ access to more nutritious foods.
The survey found that while over half of consumers are more concerned about what they eat today vs. a year ago, 70 percent said that healthier foods are increasingly difficult to afford, 53 percent said they often buy less healthy foods because they’re cheaper, and 44 percent say their budgets keep them from eating healthier foods.“Healthy eating is still important to consumers, but evidence strongly suggests that it is a lower priority these days,” noted Technomic EVP Bob Goldin. [C]onsumers are economizing in their food expenditures and believe that one way to do so is to spend less on healthy foods. It’s an unfortunate development.”

Poverty --- Highest in 12 Years

Last Year’s Poverty Rate Was Highest in 12 Years ---
In the recession, the nation’s poverty rate climbed to 13.2 percent last year, up from 12.5 percent in 2007, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Census Bureau. The report also ...documented a decline in employer-provided health insurance and in coverage for adults.
Source: New York Times, By ERIK ECKHOLM, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


INTERACTIVE WEBSITE DETAILS THE LIVES OF CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS -- The most comprehensive interactive resource exploring the lives of the nation’s 16.4 million children with foreign-born parents debuts today on, the website of the Institute.
The Children of Immigrants Data Tool enables users to generate charts of the characteristics of children 0 to 17 nationwide and for individual states
Source: The Urban Institute, Simona Combi, (202) 261-5709,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Less is More for the Poor

Food Takes Up Larger Share of Low-Income Household's Budget According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the poorest 20 percent of households spent 20 percent of their income (average $2,005 annually) on food at home in 2007, while the wealthiest 20 percent spent 3.3 percent of their income (average $5,265) on food.
This paradox is a fact for low-income residents of California's San Joaquin Valley, where a tomato costs $1, the same price as a roll of toilet paper. They pay more for food grown in the valley, too, because they lack access to grocery stores, with bulk pricing and weekly specials. The stores aren't located in low-income neighborhoods, and residents without transportation end up relying on corner stores or gas stations.
Source: Fresno Bee, July 25, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Children to Cost 1/4 Million $

Recent USDA report indicates that Children Born in 2008 Will Cost Nearly One Quarter Million to Raise - Food Costs are Primary Expense
A new USDA report titled "Expenditures on Children by Families" estimates that it will cost $221,190 (inflation adjusted total - $291,570) in food, shelter and other necessities for a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2008 to the age of seventeen.
Food and child care payments are the largest expenses after housing costs (the largest expense), with food averaging 16 percent of the total expenditure.
Family income affects the costs of raising a child. A family earning:less than $56,870 can expect to pay $159,870 (2008 dollars) in raising a child;between $56,870 and $98,470 can expect to spend $221,190;more than $98,470 can expect to spend $366,660.
Source: USDA, August 2, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hunger Twitterers...we now know who you are...

Tyson Foods has posted an extensive list of Hunger Tweeters. They will be updating the list from time to time. If you'd like your name added to their list; go to the link below to comment with your Twittername, or send a Twitter reply to @TysonFoods.
Tyson Twitter List:
It saddens me to think that there are children in America who are hungry every day of their lives. No one can live — and grow — withoiut such a fundamental necessity as food. If we Americans reach out to our own communities, we could end this crisis.
-- Tim McGraw --

Child Hunger: The Economic Toll

Long Term Physical And Cognitive Consequences of Hunger to CHILDREN!
The direct and indirect effect of child hunger in the U.S. is a contributing factor to the nation’s economic woes and puts America at a competitive disadvantage, according to a new report issued today by Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization.... The U.S. economy is losing its competitive edge to countries doing a better job of addressing nutrition and food insecurity in preparing children to learn and achieve their full potential.
Source: Feeding America, July 1, 2009


Low-Income Working Families: Updated Facts and Figures

A large percentage of American families have low incomes, which lead to a host of challenges and disadvantages for both parents and children. In 2006, one out of every three families with children had incomes below twice the federal poverty level (FPL): $40,888 for a family with two adults and two children. While these families face many of the same challenges as other families, they are particularly financially vulnerable. This fact sheet provides statistics on the work effort, earnings, health care access and other characteristics of these families.
Source: Urban Insitute Research of Record, Alexandra Stanczyk, June 1, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Credit Cards ... SAFETY NET?

Credit Cards are Safety Net for Low-Income Americans
People earning low and middle-incomes are using credit cards as their safety net, paying for basic living expenses, medical bills, and other items with their cards and accruing more debt. According to a report released in July more than one-third of households said they used their credit cards for rent and mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities. For these households, the average credit card debt increased 3 percent from $9,536 to $9,827 in three years with 42 percent of survey respondents said they had more debt than three years ago.
For people aged 65 and older, credit card debt increased 26 percent, from $8,138 in 2005 to $10,235 in 2008, with medical costs being the main reason for the jump.
Even before the recession, households earning $50,000 a year were using credit cards as a safety net. Low and middle income earners are also more likely to be charged higher credit card rates - a quarter surveyed said they paid at least 20 percent interest on their credit card balances; a third of black and Hispanic households reported they were paying that percentage rate.
Source: FRAC, August 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

On the Grid


What happened Thursday, in 140 characters: Twitter went down. Facebook went down. People panicked, unused to not oversharing minutiae of life. Twitter back up. Facebook back up. Phew.
Source: Washington Post, by Monica Hesse - Aug. 7, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry. -- Ed Asner --

"...Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance...." -- Samuel Johnson --


Absolute Bike’s “Old-Fashioned” cycling event set for Aug. 22 to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance serves more than 29,000 square miles within Apache, Navajo, Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave counties out of their Flagstaff facility.
Register online at:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


In order to create a nuturing positive learning atmosphere for students, they need to come to school prepared - clean, well-nourished and with a good night's sleep.
In today's economy, these factors are more precarious than ever. However, Target is working with St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance to ensure more than 3,000 Arizona children are ready for their first week by providing essential supplies and food items.
Working with St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance and Pima County's Community Food Bank, Target will donate more than 3,000 back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies, food items and new books to four schools throughout Maricopa and Pima counties. More than 150 Target team members will volunteer at the Food Bank helping to stuff all 3,040 backpacks, host events at the schools and deliver the backpacks, while the food banks will conduct outreach sessions as part of their "Hunger 101" program on hunger, poverty and healthy nutrition.
More Hunger101AZ programs details at:


This homeless 2nd Grader says it all so simply!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bottled Water Donations Needed!

July 2009 was the Valley's all-time hottest month with August continuing the summer oven. Record High 114 yesterday and a soaring 114 degrees forecast for today with a HEAT ADVISORY through Thursday. So donations of bottled water are still direly needed to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion among Arizona's homeless popoulation.


Skyrocketing demand resulted in total food distribution by AAFB member food banks increasing a staggering 42.2% in the 2008-09 fiscal year, the largest percentage increase since the 2000-01 fiscal year.
This increase translated into 32,581,298 more pounds being distributed, with the total for the fiscal year topping the 100 million pound mark at 109,837,146 lbs.
Arizona’s food banks were able to meet the increased demand through a number of sources:
TEFAP product increases via a special infusion from the Federal Stimulus Package to counteract the economic downturn.
* Growing produce donations from Santa Cruz County to the
Gleaning Project network.
* Increased retail grocery donations with the addition of Fresh & Easy, Wal-Mart and the expansion of other chains.
* Record food purchasing by our member food banks to fill the gaps and keep up with demand.

Source: Arizona Association of Food Banks, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009


KIDS CAFE of St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance provided over 350, 000 meals to children at risk of hunger during the past year.

Drop in Underweight U.S. Children

Evidence that the billions of dollars spent by the federal government in nutrition programs (along with state programs, food banks, private charities and the work of anti-hunger professionals and volunteers) is working can be found in a couple of new reports on the percentage of underweight U.S. children, writes Cheryl Wetzstein in this editorial.
In the 1970s, research found that 5.1 percent of American children were underweight; a new report on underweight children and adolescents from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows the current rate has fallen to 3.3 percent.
The statistics don't mean "that there's not still hunger," notes NCHS researcher Cheryl Fryar. "We don't want to go that far." Children and teens are classified as underweight if they weigh less than the fifth percentile on federal growth charts, which are based on age, sex, body mass and height. The new percentage of underweight children means that 2.4 million between the ages of 2 and 19 are underweight. Malnutrition, lack of food, illness, and eating disorders can be the cause of underweight children, and in babies, failure to thrive can be the cause. Data in the report show a 3 percent drop in the percentage of underweight preschoolers (6 percent in the 1970s to less than 3 percent in the mid-2000s); elementary age children who are underweight dropped from 5 percent to less than 3 percent.
Another federal study - the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance - mirrors these numbers for the percentage of very young, low-income children who are underweight, which went from 9 percent in the 1970s to 4.5 percent in 2008. These kinds of "low-profile" reports can often get lost in the media which scolds us about obesity and hunger, concludes the editorial.
Source: (Washington Times, July 21, 2009)http://

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hey There! Look over here too...

Hey there! Hunger101AZ is all a Twitter.
Please Tweet us nice and often at


Nonprofits have mixed feelings about marketing, branding and personality. On the one hand, we know we have to get people to notice us if we’re ever going to get them interested in our causes. On the other hand, our causes are important enough to stand on their own. Right? Wrong.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What type of cheese do dogs like on their pizza?


Coming Soon...

to a computer or cell phone near or on you.. Hunger101AZ TWEETS!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hunger is the most extreme form of poverty. Families who are not food secure cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.

Without a doubt...,

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance volunteers are both ORGANIC & GREEN

More, Faster, More, Faster, More, FASTER!

that was the July ROCK & BOX volunteer mantra at St. Mary's Food bank Alliance on Tuesday July 28th. The Food Bank simply cannot do what needs to be done without wonderful hardworking volunteers that amaze us with their support everyday in so many ways.
More about the Food Bank at:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nearly two-thirds of American adults ...

are Overweight or Obese!
Solution? Eat less, exercise more!
“Obesity” refers to people who are 50 to 100 percent, or 100 pounds above, their ideal body weights.
Overeating and lack of exercise are the primary causes of obesity which leads to diabetes, birth defects and heart failure.
More than 20% of adults are obese in every U.S. state except Colorado, though in 1991, no state had an obesity rate greater than 20%. It is expected that 86% of the American population will be overweight or obese by 2030 unless habits change
Source:, 2009

Nutrition Suffers During Recession

During the recession, families experiencing job loss or a cut in wages are bypassing fresh fruits and vegetables in order to save money. Health problems from insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption are responsible for 2.7 million deaths each year, according to USDA. The agency also reports that 85 percent of children and 60 percent of adults do not meet USDA's recommended five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

The American Heart Association reports that 42 percent of 1000 Americans surveyed said they plan to make significant changes in the next six months, such as buying fewer fruits and vegetables - changes that may affect their health.
Source: The Coloradoan, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The “Core” of Hunger 101AZ is FREE

Only through information and knowledge can we even begin to eliminate poverty, food insecurity, and hunger.And, key to that idea is ADVOCACY! And, during August and September, Hunger 101AZ is offering FREE Advocacy & Action training.
The popular presentations will be held Aug 21st (Friday), 10:30-11:30AM, & Sept 23rd (Wednesday), 10-11AM, at the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, Volunteer Services Center at 2831 N. 31st Ave, Phoenix, AZ
Join us, become a more informed and skilled advocate seeking to End Hunger and Change lives in so many ways. Take the first step …tell, call, email, text, blog, Tweet or play charades from your car window to get the message out. Registration is easy, contact Ray Combe at or 602-343-3164

Friday, July 24, 2009

And, the beat goes on.

The economic crisis and growing unemployment and underemployment continues to cause more families are finding they need help for the first time in food emergency situations. St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance distributes food throughout the Arizona through over 500 partner agencies at 750 sites including include domestic violence shelters, dining halls, schools, churches, children’s shelters, food pantries, halfway houses, and senior centers.
The majority of those served by the Food Bank and its agencies are working poor
families, as well as children and seniors.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"...Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine..."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

State opts not to give flu shots at schools

State and local public-health officials are shifting their tactics for combating flu this fall, deciding not to pursue a huge campaign to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Maricopa County schoolchildren against seasonal flu. Instead, officials will aggressively promote getting flu shots from doctors or clinics, as well as encourage parents and school officials to quickly remove sick children from classrooms.
Source: Arizona Republic, Ginger Rough, July 23, 2009
Full story:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Senate Working to Have All School Foods Meet Nutrition Guidelines

All food sold in schools - including through vending machines - could be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization, according to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Harkin, in the confirmation hearing for Kevin Concannon as head of USDA's food and nutrition programs, said that a draft of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization would give USDA authority to oversee all food in schools, so that junk food in vending machines would not "undermine" food served through the current school nutrition programs. He also said the committee will begin work on the legislation in October or November.

Harkin is currently working on health care reform and the annual spending bills, and in an effort to curb childhood obesity, co-sponsored a bill earlier this year setting nutrition standards for food in school vending machines and stores. Concannon told Harkin he wants to address health issues caused by poor nutrition through work with other federal and state agencies.

Disproportionate Number of U.S. Hispanics Suffer From Hunger

According to a recent USDA report on food insecurity, 19.5 percent of Hispanic households report suffering from hunger (food insecurity), a disproportionate number when compared to the national average of 10.9 percent, and the non-Hispanic white average of 7.8 percent.
The percentage means that nearly one in five Hispanic households, in one of the richest countries in the world, suffers from hunger. Only half of eligible Hispanic residents (51 percent) receive SNAP/Food Stamps, according to a National Council of La Raza (NCLR) report from December 2006 titled Sin Provecho: Latinos and Food Insecurity.
The report also found that there are 38 percent fewer fresh fruit and vegetable retailers in Hispanic communities than there are in communities with smaller Hispanic populations.
The NCLR report indicated that people who participate in food assistance programs have greater nutritional intake, save money on medical bills, are healthier, and have a lower rate of obesity.
Source: Ponte Al Dia/Latin News and Opinion, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More than 11 Million will Die

This year (as every year) 11 million children younger than 5 will die needlessly, more than half from hunger-related causes. Few of these deaths are related to outright starvation, but rather to common illnesses (like diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria and measles) that move in on vulnerable children whose bodies have been weakened by hunger

Can't Get Enough?

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Facebook at .
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Volunteers Vital

Volunteers are vital to St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, supporting the Food Bank in sorting, boxing and bagging food, as well as providing administrative and fundraising support and serving on the Board of Directors. Last year, 73,152 volunteers provided 327,890 hours, saving the Food Bank $6.4 million.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
-- Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 25 (1948) --

Young workers push employers for wider Web access

Ryan Tracy thought he'd entered the Dark Ages when he graduated college and arrived in the working world. His employer blocked access to Facebook, Gmail and other popular Internet sites. He had no wireless access for his laptop and often ran to a nearby cafe on work time so he could use its Wi-Fi connection to send large files.
Sure, the barriers did what his employer intended: They stopped him and his colleagues from using work time to goof around online. But Tracy says the rules also got in the way of legitimate work he needed to do as a scientific analyst for a health care services company.
"It was a constant battle between the people that saw technology as an advantage, and those that saw it as a hindrance," says the 27-year-old Chicagoan, who now works for a different company.

Full story at:
Source: Yahoo Tech News, By Martha Irvine, July 12, 2009

Obesity a risk factor in swine flu?

Some swine flu cases in Michigan are raising questions about obesity's role in why some people with infections become seriously ill.
A high proportion of those who have gotten severely ill from swine flu have been obese or extremely obese, but health officials have said that might be due to the fact that heavy people tend to have asthma and other conditions that make them more susceptible. Obesity alone has never been seen as a risk factor for seasonal flu.

Full story at:;_ylt=Ano6Ud_CFR31hGajL2Ynu_.ISbYF;_ylu=X3oDMTJtNGE1ZWg5BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNzEwL3VzX21lZF9zd2luZV9mbHUEcG9zAzMEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDb2Jlc2l0eWFyaXNr

• 338,000 Arizona children--about one in every five--live in poverty; 37 percent are under the age of five.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More American Children living in poverty

A growing number of American children are living in poverty and with unemployed parents, and are facing the threat of hunger, according to a new federal report released today.According to "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being," 18 percent of all children 17 and under were living in poverty in 2007, up from 17 percent in 2006. The percentage of children who had at least one parent working full time was 77 percent in 2007, down from 78 percent in 2006. And those living in households with extremely low "food security" -- where parents described children as being hungry or having skipped a meal or gone without eating for an entire day -- increased from 0.6 percent in 2006 to 0.9 percent in 2007, the report said.

Source: The Washington Post, Annie Gowen, July 10, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Water Please!

Temps soaring past 110 -- Water Needed NOW!

With Phoenix temperatures soaring past 110 degrees this weekend, the urgency to provide water to those living without shelter around the Valley rises as well. Three St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance locations serve as water donation sites in conjunction with Homeless Awareness Coalition awareness efforts
Death by dehydration and heat exhaustion is a serious problem for the most vulnerable population – a group that has grown in number as a result of the current economic crisis. The number of homeless individuals and families living in the Valley has reached a crisis situation, requiring an increased need for the most basic life-sustaining elements.
Three St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance locations are among five collection sites around the Valley accepting water donations. If you would like to help make a difference for those in need, donations can be dropped off at the main Phoenix warehouse (2831 N. 31st Ave.), the Westside location in Surprise (13050 W. Elm Street) or the Glendale location (5605 N. 55th Ave.) All three locations are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Obesity Continues to Rise

Obesity Among U.S. Adults Continues to Rise
Obesity Prevalence 25 Percent or Higher in 32 States
The proportion of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1 percent in 2008 compared to 25.6 percent in 2007. The data come from CDC’s
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based phone survey that collects health information from adults aged 18 and over. The 2008 BRFSS obesity data indicate that none of the 50 states or the District of Columbia has achieved the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing obesity prevalence to 15 percent or less.
Learn more at: http://
Source CDC Press Release, Jul 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

President Obama can change the course of history by making this G8 the first step towards ending hunger and revitalizing farming as a livelihood

We need President Obama to lead the world in the fight against hunger by committing to: * Invest more – and more wisely – in agriculture so poor people can build sustainable rural livelihoods and rely less on food aid;
* Buy more food aid locally and regionally in emergency situations instead of shipping food halfway around the world, creating waste and delay;
* Help poor communities farm sustainably so that soil can produce more food today without damaging the chance to grow food tomorrow; and
* Target aid to the poorest of the poor, like small-scale farmers and rural communities that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods but are often left behind by traditional aid.
Tell President Obama not to leave anyone behind – we need his leadership on hunger at the G8.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kids Cafe provided 352,885 meals to children at risk of hunger in 2008/2009 fiscal year.

Kids Cafe program information available at:

Can Expanding Food Stamps Jolt The Economy?

The federal food stamp program is being beefed up in hopes that it will help jolt the sagging economy back to life. However, economists are conflicted over how big an impact this increase will ultimately have.
The government is spending $20 billion to expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program... Amid the recession, 4.8 million additional people have sought out food stamp assistance. In February 2008, 27.7 million people nationwide were receiving food stamps, compared to 32.5 million people 12 months later.
The idea of the stimulus plan is simple. The concept assumes people who get extra money will spend it — and that increased spending will bolster the economy.
"This injection of funds ends up being spent on food, and that has a multiplier effect through the economy."
Source: NPR Online, by Kathy Lohr, JUly 7, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

HUnger 101 - Community Advocacy & Education

Safety Net Is Fraying for the Very Poor

Government “safety net” programs like Social Security and food stamps have pulled growing numbers of Americans out of poverty since the mid-1990s. But even before the current recession, these programs were providing less help to the most desperately poor, mainly nonworking families with children, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a private group in Washington.
Source: New York Times, By ERIK ECKHOLM, July 4, 2009
For Full story at: http://

Saturday, July 4, 2009

25,000 students in Arizona homeless

The number of homeless schoolchildren in Arizona has surpassed 25,000 - equivalent to the population of Fountain Hills.
An increase of nearly 18 percent in the past year was driven by the soaring rate of unemployment and foreclosures, education officials say. Parents lose their jobs, then their home, and families lose their stability. They stay at a friend's, a hotel, a campground, a shelter - even live out of the car.
"We are now seeing families who come from middle-class America," said Sean Schubert, Peoria Unified
School District's liaison for the homeless. "Now, many of those people are currently facing very challenging situations. What we all need to understand is that this can happen to anyone."
"We hear daily on the news how the Dow is doing, but less attention is being paid to how the recession is impacting our kids," said Phillip Lovell, vice president of the national children's advocacy group First Focus. "We need a significant policy response to solve this problem. Everyone needs to be involved."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hungry? Hunger 101 can FEED YOUR MIND

Hunger 101 - July 2009 - Feed Your Mind Training Schedule
* Faces of Hunger: July 7th (Tuesday), 1-2PM
* Label Me Nutritious: July 14th (Tuesday), 1-2PM
* Advocacy & Action: July 15th (Wednesday), 12-1PM
* Impacts of Hunger: July 21st (Tuesday), 1-2PM
* Fast Foods: Making Healthy Choices: July 22nd (Wednesday), 12:30-1:30PM
* The Food Game Simulation: July 28th (Tuesday), 2PM-4PM
For topic details a or to register, contact Ray Combe at or 602-343-3164.

"Ending Childhood Hunger by 2015: The Essential Strategies for Achieving the President's Goal,"

FRAC is releasing today its analysis of the steps needed for the nation to reach President Obama's goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.

The paper calls for the nation to:
* Restore economic growth and create jobs with better wages for lower-income workers.
* Raise the incomes of the lowest-income families.
* Strengthen the SNAP/Food Stamp Program.

* Strengthen the Child Nutrition Programs.

* Engage the entire federal government in ending childhood hunger.
* Work with states, localities and nonprofits to expand and improve participation in federal nutrition programs.
* Make sure all families have convenient access to reasonably priced, healthy food.
FRAC is distributing this analysis to members of Congress, key officials in the Obama Administration, the media, and anti-hunger leaders across the nation. They also are launching a website,, where they are posting this analysis and the president's position paper making the 2015 commitment, and will be posting in the weeks and months ahead other analyses and materials related to achieving the 2015 goal.

Please share your thoughts with Hunger 101Az and FRAC about this first look at needed strategies, and your ideas of how to spur the nation to reach this important goal.

Source: Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Non-profits by the numbers

27 percent of Arizona non-profit groups that laid off employees in 2008 or plan to lay off in 2009.
5,000: Number of non-profit workers that who are estimated to be laid off between 2008 and 2009.
75 percent of Arizona non-profits that reported increased demand for their services in 2008.
80 percent of Arizona non-profits that expected increased demand for their services in 2009.
40 percent of Arizona non-profits that plan to either reduce their service or reduce the number of people who can receive services in 2009.
57 percent of Non-profit organizations that put on hold plans for expansion in 2008.
Source: Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits

Full Story at:

Friday, June 26, 2009

People needing "HUNGER RELIEF"’ on the rise

Hunger relief’ might be a new term for many of us but ongoing social conditions are going to ‘brutally’ make it realise in the coming days as number of people making efforts to secure free food around food outlets is dramatically increasing with each passing day.

Essa Khan, aged 33, who works as a daily-wage labourer is one of those persons who daily comes to free food centre being run by the Edhi Foundation at Aabpara as it helps him save some money out of his daily earning. He said it is not all about saving earning because sometimes when he does not find any work it becomes difficult for him to afford two-time meals a day.
The trend of setting up food outlets and restaurants has been fast gaining ground in the twin cities for the last many years and it is believed that large quantity of leftover food is thrown into garbage trolleys. Despite the fact that the concept of ‘Food Bank’ is getting popular all over the world especially in the developed countries, no serious effort has so far been made to promote this trend at least in big cities of the country.
The first food bank named St. Mary was set up in 1967 in Arizona that promoted this concept, which is aimed at providing free food to downtrodden segments who lack financial resources and find it hard to afford food prices.
“It would not be an exaggeration if we start recycling leftover food that would help provide food to thousands of people daily,” said Nazim Hussain, a hotel owner in Satellite Town area. He said though there can be many who would be ready to accept even used food out of hunger but in his personal view he does not think it appropriate, so they dispose of such food with the help of sweepers.
The Edhi Foundation introduced free food centres in the twin cities after which many other people and groups came forward and started providing free food at various places in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. There are also number of hotels and restaurants in areas like Peshawar Morr and Sector G-8/1 where owners provide food to people free of cost.
“The government must take initiative to provide technical and logistic assistance to various groups that can be helpful to launch banks all over the country especially in the big cities where thousands of people miss their meals due to financial constraints,” said Murtaza Abbasi, a social activist and educationist.
He said if all the relevant quarters make concerted efforts and share their expertise and assistance then it would be not so difficult to launch any food bank in the twin cities.
At the time when food inflation is increasing day by day in the society and huge number of people do not have a ‘luxury’ to enjoy two-time meals in a day it is highly unfortunate that leftover food is thrown into dunghills and garbage trolleys. So it is ripe time that relevant quarters put in best efforts for establishing food banks to provide marginalised people with some relief who have already many other hardships to tackle with.

Source: By Noor Aftab - Islamabad,Saturday, June 20, 2009

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
-- Mother Teresa --

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time to Attack Hunger's Roots

As 115 million more people have been driven into poverty and hunger by rising food prices over the past three years, top UN officials are demanding a new global system to ensure that people across the world have enough to eat. Half of the 10 million people who die of hunger each year are children.
What's the Story? "Now is the time for action. The food crisis has taught us that to defeat hunger, we have to deal with its root causes and not to continue coping with the consequences of past mistakes," said Jacques Diouf, director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), speaking at an international conference on food security.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PHOENIX -- Demand for food up 127 percent

PHOENIX -- St. Mary’s Food Bank is suffering as the demand for food has increased 127 percent from last year and donations are decreasing by nearly 50 percent since the beginning of summer. Already during May, St. Mary’s Food Bank provided 7.7 million pounds of food to needy families. Ways to give to St. Mary's

Full story at:

Interactive: When will the job markets be normal?

Interactive: When will the nation's job markets return to normal?
While signs indicate that the worst of the recession may be over, only six metropolitan areas across the country are expected to regain their pre-recession employment levels by the end of 2009, according to projections from IHS Global Insight, a leading economic forecaster. Most of the country - 286 of 325 metro areas covered in the IHS analysis - aren't likely to regain their pre-recession employment levels until at least 2012.
This link will take you to an interactive map shows what year economic forecasters say each metro area will return to employment levels seen before the recession at:
Source: The Sacramento Bee
By Phillip Reese, Jun. 18, 2009

Parents have less influence than commonly believed

A study published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine reports that parents have less influence on their children's diets than is commonly believed.

According to one of the study's authors, Youfa Wang of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "[c]hild-parent dietary resemblance in the US is relatively weak, and varies by nutrients and food groups and by the types of parent-child dyads and social demographic characteristics such as age, gender and family income."

Other factors that "seem to play an important role in young people's dietary intake" include "community and school, food environment, peer influence, television viewing, as well as individual factors such as self-image and self-esteem," noted study author May Beydoun, also of the Bloomberg School.

The authors recommend that future studies focus on factors such as peer pressure. The researchers used USDA data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the USDA 2005 Health Eating Index; 1,061 fathers, 1,230 mothers, 1,370 sons and 1,322 daughters were sampled. I

n another survey, by Mintel, findings showed parents do feel responsible for their children's' weight, with 78 percent of parents saying they blame themselves if their child was overweight.

Friday, June 19, 2009

World Hunger 'hits one billion'

One billion people throughout the world suffer from hunger,
a figure which has increased by 100 million because of the global financial crisis, says the UN.
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the figure was a record high.
Persistently high food prices have also contributed to the hunger crisis.
BBC, World News, June19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hunger 101AZ Announces Public Training

Hunger 101AZ announces July 2009 Public Training presentations
All are FREE of CHARGE.
Details of topics, schedule, locations and registration can be made by phone at 620-343-3164 or email to

1 in 12... is BAD!

1 in 12 Arizona Seniors

A Very Sad & Unnecessary Situation

Be Part of the Solution

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

There's enough!

There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed.”

-- Mahatma Gandhi --

Kids Cafe ----- Feeding Children..... Day In, Day Out!

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance's Kids Cafe® program provides food to 32 sites in the Valley, serving as many as 1,800 meals every day and 2,100 meals every day during the busy summer.

During the fiscal year 2007-2008, Kids Cafe served a total of 388,784 meals to children 5 to 18 years of age.

Kids Cafe partners with area churches, schools, community centers, and city Parks & Recreation Departments to provide a secure and safe environment for children.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

“Perfect Summer Hunger Storm”

“Perfect summer storm” created as financial donations lag by 50% and demand for food expected to continue increasing. During May, St. Mary’s Food Bank distributed nearly 28,000 emergency food boxes and a total of 7.7 million pounds of food – enough food to provide 7.7 million meals in the community.

The Food Bank always distributes more food during the summer months than it does at any other time of the year, including the holidays, because families are no longer able to rely on school breakfast and lunch programs and already tight budgets are stretched further by an increase in utility bills and gas prices.

Adding to the strain, many of the organization’s supporters leave on vacation and financial support slows down, said Terry Shannon, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Food Bank. “This is the scenario we worry about every year, but this year, with the economy struggling the way it is, we are facing an incredible perfect summer storm – the need for our services skyrockets but financial support drops.”

For more information about how you can help fight Hunger in Arizona, visit the food bank's web site:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recession Driving Benefit Spending to Record High

(USA Today, June 3, 2009)

One out of every six dollars of Americans' income is in the form of federal or state funds - SNAP/Food Stamps, Social Security, unemployment compensation, or health care - due to the recession, notes a report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

According to federal data, , government spending on benefits will be more than $2 trillion in 2009, an average of $17,000 per household. In the first quarter of 2009, benefit spending increased at an annual rate of 19 percent, compared to the last quarter of 2008. While half the increase is due to the recession - unemployment has nearly tripled - policies set in place during George Bush's first term of office make up the other half; increased spending for the Medicare drug benefit, children's health insurance expansion, and SNAP/Food Stamps followed the 2001 recession.

These days, "[w]e're not seeing the hunger we saw in the 1930s because the food stamp program is doing what it's supposed to do," said Jennifer Lange, Florida's food stamp director. While advocates are saying the safety net is working, "[t]he increase in social spending is still relatively modest given the severity of the downturn," said Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Hunger never takes a Vacation

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bad, The Ugly and The Good!

The St.Mary's Food Bank Alliance kicked off our 2009 SEND HUNGER PACKING campaign to fight Hunger (especially among children) across Arizona during the summer.
As part of that event, ththe Food Bank intorduced a new video created by staff and volunteers to visually present this critical problem facing Arizonans especially during the next few months. That of FEEDING OUR CHILDREN.

Please take a few moments to view the video now showing on YouTube andt a consider what you, your organization, your family, your friends or other community groups you are involved with migth so to SEND HUNGER PACKING in Arizona.
View the video at:

What will you and yours do?

Arizona Free-Lunch Program Increasing Dramatically

USA Today & The Arizona Republic reported today that Arizona's Free-lunch program for needy children is up 11.3% this year, as well as many more students are eligible for reduced-cost lunches
by Pat Kossan

The Arizona Republic

Schools across the Valley are measuring the depth of Arizona's downturn in the cafeteria lunch line: A rising number of students has applied for free lunches, and more parents are failing to pay what they owe on the lunch bill.
The percentage of students who received free lunches at Arizona schools jumped by 11.3 percent from February 2008 to February 2009, the latest month with data verified by the federal government, a USA Today analysis reported. Arizona, which had 394,977 students receiving free lunches, was one of only five states to experience double-digit increases.

Additional information available at:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Arizona Budget in LIMBO!

The Arizona Senate and House have passed a budget for 2009-10 and have decided not to send it to Governor Brewer because they were concerned that she would veto it.

The budget passed is about the worst for DES and the organizations they contract with for services. The $73.4 million lump sum cut to DES is 10% of their current General Fund budget and throws them over the threshold that could cause them to eliminate all funding for the social services safety net in our state. It is only through the voices of those who are willing to speak up, on behalf of so many who cannot, that we will be able to change this situation.

· The budget recently passed by a bare majority of legislators in the House and the Senate includes massive budget cuts that take Arizona in the wrong direction and damage Arizona’s economy and families.
· There are many alternative options that have been proposed by Governor Brewer and other legislators that can balance the budget without dangerous cuts to jobs, education, health, and human services. These alternatives include new revenues and other strategies that are fair and responsible.
· It is time for legislators from both parties to sit down with the Governor to look at all the options together and negotiate a budget that really works for Arizona.
· The coalition stands united in expecting our elected leaders to create a budget that protects education, health, and human services -- so that Arizona can save jobs and compete in the global economy.

To find your legislators, go to and type in your Zip+4 in the upper left hand corner where it asks for that information.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Join Hunger 101 & St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance as we kickoff our efforts feed children and SEND HUNGER PACKING from during the Arizona summer months. On June 9th, please join us for a KickOff breakfast (7-9AM) at our Westside facility in Surprise or our lunchtime event (11AM-1PM at our Phoenix 31st Ave location.Learn more at

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Arizona Budget Cuts Threaten Programs to End Hunger

With State budget cuts looming over the Coordinated Hunger Programs and Senior Nutrition Programs, please consider contacting your elected officicals as constituents and advocates to , and ask for their funding for programs to fight hunger in Arizona.

Annualized for the 2009-10 fiscal year, the Association of Arizona Food Banks would lose more than half their previous state funding if the Coordinated Hunger Programs line item is cut. Especially because even if all food bank-related budget allocations were preserved, cuts to other social service programs would dramatically increase the burden on Arizona’s food banks.

Its critical that our elected ofoicails clearly understand and ensure that they:

• Must preserve and improve Arizona’s fragile health, human and social services safety net by eliminating further cuts and restoring cuts already made in the 2008-09 budget.

• Seriously consider revenue enhancements (not reductions) part of the new budget.

• More fully consider all available alternatives to balance the budget, informed by menu choices from the Arizona Budget Coalition ( and the Fiscal Alternatives Choices Team report.

• Understand the private sector, foundations and the faith community cannot collectively compensate for ill-timed budget cuts.

You can find your officials' contact info at

Thanks for understanding and Advocacy to End Hunger in Arizona,

Hunger 101AZ

Source: Community Food Connections