The top priority of Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry’s strategic plan isto provide the broadest array possible of healthy and diverse food options.—Loaves & Fishes consulted with its Nutrition Advisory Council (NAC), comprised of nutritional experts and licensed dietitians, for advice to achieve this goal. With a client base transcending all ages and diverse cultures, nutritional considerations are… Read more »
Congressman Foster recently toured Loaves & Fishes in response to our letter regarding the Farm Bill. We are sharing the letter’s contents here. Please see pictures from the visit and tour below. Dear Congressman Foster: Loaves & Fishes has a vital interest in advancing the Farm Bill. We serve over 600 low income households every week,… Read more »
From November 13th through the 20th, Loaves & Fishes served 4,185 persons, of whom 1,839 were children, 2,118 adults, and 228 seniors, in a total of 996 households. Yes, this is a record week. However, each of these persons and families received a generous amount of food, including a turkey with all the trimmings for… Read more »
from Ron Ory: Since the nights are now starting to cool, we planted four flats of lettuce started by Pat, and seen here being watered by Ellie: And the harvest continues: We’re over 2,300 pounds! Thank you, Master Gardeners and Naperville Community Gardeners! Published with permission from Loaves & Fishes Community Services Source.
During our last fiscal year (July 1, 2011- June 30, 2012), Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry helped nearly 1,500 single mothers of 3,500 children. From NPR, by Pam Fessler: Once a thriving railroad hub and factory town in southeast Pennsylvania, Reading has a poverty rate of 41.3 percent and is labeled America’s poorest city with a population of 65,000 or more. “Single mothers have an especially hard time getting out of poverty. Households headed by single mothers are four times as likely to be poor as are families headed by married couples. Still, many of these women are trying to get ahead. Some know instinctively what the studies show: Children who grow up in poor families are far more likely to become poor adults. These mothers often rely on a network of support — not just from food stamps, housing subsidies, welfare, or other government programs people usually think of. They also depend on charities, churches, family, friends, personal drive, ambition and even luck to stay afloat.” Read full article here .
Here in the United States, growing numbers of people can’t afford that most basic of necessities: food. More Americans said they struggled to buy food in 2011 than in any year since the financial crisis, according to a recent report from the Food Research and Action Center, a nonprofit research group. About 18.6 percent of people — almost one out of every five — told Gallup pollsters that they couldn’t always afford to feed everyone in their family in 2011. One might assume that number got smaller wrapped up with the national unemployment rate falling for several consecutive months. In actuality, the reverse proved true: the number of people who said they couldn’t afford food just kept rising and rising. The findings from FRAC highlight what many people already know: The economic recovery, in theory now more than two years old, has done little to keep millions of Americans out of poverty and deprivation. Incomes for many haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, and for a large swath of the country, things today are as bad as ever, or worse. Read .
From Food Research and Action Council’s February 2012 report, Food Hardship in America: 2011 was another year of difficult economic struggles for American households, and the most recent food hardship data demonstrate that. When asked by the Gallup organization, “Have there been times in the last twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” more people answered “Yes” in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 (19.2% and 19.4%) than in any period since the fourth quarter of 2008. Read report .
Poverty, worse in Illinois today than during the recession, grew from pre- to post-recession by 16 percent, according to the 2011 Report on Illinois Poverty released today. In fact, poverty is at its highest point in decades, and 1 in 3 Illinoisans are considered poor or low-income. The Social IMPACT Research Center’s release dovetails with Human Rights Day, and underscores the economic deprivation and threats to dignity and well-being endured by those who live in poverty. In the report, IMPACT documents hardship across a variety of indicators including income, employment, health, housing, and assets. Together these indicators document the conditions faced by struggling families across Illinois. The report includes the following key findings: · At least 1 in 10 people live in poverty in 85 of Illinois’ 102 counties.Median household income has continued the disturbing trend of the past decade. · Currently at $52,972, it has declined 3.4 percent from the recession and 6.9 percent from before the recession. · Illinois must add 528,844 new jobs to fill its job gap (number of jobs lost during the recession and the number of jobs needed for new entrants to the workforce). 2011 Report on Illinois Poverty
From Children’s HealthWatch and Dr. John T. Cook: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits across the board by a minimum of 13.6 percent in April 2009. Recent research by Children’s HealthWatch shows that the increase in SNAP benefits protected the health and well-being of very young, low-income children during a period of great financial hardship for many families in America. In the two years after the benefit increase, children in families receiving SNAP were significantly more likely to be classified as “well children” than young children whose families were eligible for but did not receive SNAP. Read publication .
Chicago Tribune, September 24, 2011 Once well off, many families sunk by the economy face once-unthinkable choices, as they join millions of others struggling to get by.” Read article.