Help fight hunger: North Carolina regularly ranked among top states with food shortage

Sunday, December 4, 2016

We are counting down the days to our ABC11 Together Food Drive collection day on Dec. 7th and leading up to the big day we are highlighting the growing need for help in our communities.

We are now less than a week away from the ABC11 Together Food Drive and we are encouraging you to donate online ahead of our big collection day on Dec.7!

North Carolina has one the highest percentages in the United States of children under 18 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis -- almost 1 in 4 (24.6 percent).

Between 2010 - 2016, North Carolina has regularly ranked among the top ten states with the highest percentage of citizens experiencing food shortages; over 1,764,000 of our neighbors or nearly one in six.

Here's some key stats of food needs from across our state:

  • NC has several cities with some the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation: Greensboro, HighPoint,and Winston-Salem.
  • Approximately 160,000 different people in NC receive emergency food assistance in any given week. This is equivalent to feeding nearly every resident of Asheville, Chapel Hill and Elizabeth City every week.
  • North Carolina also ranks in the fifteen worst states in the percentage of children under 18 who are lacking food on a regular basis.
  • 81 percent of NC households receiving food assistance don't know where their next meal is coming from.
  • 36 percent of food pantries in NC have had to turn people away for a lack of food to give them.
  • 73 percent of the NC households we serve have had to choose between paying for food or paying for health care or medicine.
  • 75 percent of households served by food banks have had to choose between buying food and heating their homes.
  • 61 percent of families served by food banks have been forced to choose between paying for food or paying for housing.
  • An estimated 22 percent of client households have a member who has served in the military; 6% have a member currently serving.

Information taken from