Changes in Feeding America Client and Agency Characteristics: 2005 to 2009

Feb 01, 2010
  • Description

Chapter 15 expands a subset of tables presented in chapters 5 through 14 to examine how client and agency characteristics have changed between 2005 and 2009. From 2005 to 2009 there were notable changes in many factors that traditionally have been associated with food security and hunger. Key Findings:

  • The percentage of adult clients living in suburban or rural areas increased from 42.6% to 47.8%.
  • The percentage of households receiving unemployment compensation increased from 3.2% to 7.4%.
  • The percentage of client households that had low food security increased from 36.9% to 39.2%.
  • The percentage of client households with children that had low food security increased from 41.8% to 44.3%. The corresponding increase for those with very low food security was from 31.3% to 34.2%.
  • The percentage of client households with very low food security that had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities increased from 63.1% to 66.5%. For food secure households, the increase was from 13.8% to 16.6%.
  • The percentage of clients that had unpaid medical bills increased from 41.4% to 46.5%. The magnitude of the increase was similar for pantries, kitchens, and shelters.
  • The percentage of clients that were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the amount of the food they received at the programs remained about the same (92.1%).
  • The percentage of pantries, kitchens, or shelters run by government-affiliated agencies decreased from 2.4% to 2.1%.
  • The percentage of pantries providing budget and credit counseling increased from 10.7% to 11.0%. For kitchens, the percentage increased from 7.2% to 8.7%. For shelters, the percentage increased from 37.7% to 40.8%.
  • The percentage of food distributed that comes from local food drives increased for all types of programs. The percentage increased from 49.9% to 54.5% for pantries, from 27.2% to 31.9% for kitchens, and from 40.3% to 40.7% for shelters.
  • The average number of volunteer hours increased from 35 hours to 39 hours for pantries and from 58 to 60 hours for kitchens. It decreased from 51 hours to 12 hours for shelters.
(Excerpted from Hunger in America 2010.)