In Some Rural Counties, Hunger Is Rising, But Food Donations Aren't
One in eight Americans—42 million people—still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.
Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle, but the lines of people seeking help remain long.
As a result, food banks such as Feeding America Southwest Virginia are trying to shorten those lines by doing more to address the root causes of hunger, such as poverty, unemployment and bad health.
"Why? Because we can't afford to continue to feed individuals on this ongoing basis, the resources that it takes to do that. We'd much rather have less individuals come into our programs," says Pamela Irvine, the food bank's president and CEO.