The Nourish Lab aims to produce research on how food relief agencies can make better use of their resources. We know soup kitchens and food pantries have to do more with less, and we don't see many resources focused on operational challenges. We want to help food relief programs solve their day-to-day problems.
But there's another strand of research we have seen a lot of: Policy-focused research on the scale and shape of hunger. The best resource we've come across: Feeding America's Hunger in America 2014.
- A lot of Americans are hungry. Feeding America estimates its network of soup kitchens and food pantries serve 46.5 million people a year. That's in 1 in 7 Americans. More than a quarter of the people they serve are under 18 years old.
- The need isn't spread evenly. While minorities make up just 37% of the US population, they account for 57% of Feeding America clients. African Americans are the most over-represented group in Feeding America soup kitchens and food pantries.
- Hunger leads to hard choices. 69% of hungry people served by the Feeding America network have to choose between buying food and paying utility bills. 66% have to choose between food and medical care.
If you're interested in learning more about the challenge of hunger, go have a look.
And thank you to Feeding America for creating this resource. We hope we can produce operational research that lives up to their policy research.