Philadelphia Tops Hunger List

The number of families going to bed hungry is distressing.

Philadelphia tops the nation's hunger list, for the second year in a row.

Pennsylvania's First Congressional District ranks fourth-highest for food hardship in the U.S., according to a new report released on Thursday by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).

The district includes parts of Central Philadelphia, North Philadelphia and South Philadelphia, the City of Chester and a small section of Delaware County.  It is represented by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.

The report indicates over 31 percent of households in the district don't have enough money to buy the food needed to feed their families in 2010.

"The number of families who go to bed hungry in my district and across the nation is very distressing." said Rep. Brady (D-Pa.-1)

More eye opening is the finding that nearly one in five Americans struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families in 2010.

The report analyzes data collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The information was gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing almost 1,000 households daily since January 2008.

FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: "Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?"

"The data in this report show that food hardship – running out of money to buy the food that families need – is a substantial challenge in every corner of this country,” said Jim Weill, FRAC President.

In the 2009 report, the First Distrit ranked second among the coutry's 436 congressional districts, with a food hardship rate of over 36 percent.

"This report should be a red flag for policymakers in Harrisburg and on Capitol Hill," said Carey Morgan, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.

In February, 45 young adults from around the nation were sworn in at a Philadelphia City Hall ceremony, as members of a new AmeriCorps VISTA program, connecting people to food assistance programs.  The volunteers' main goal will be to enroll eligible people into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, connect children on school lunch programs to the school breakfast they are eligible to recieve and encourage the development of community gardens.

"While we know that poverty and hunger are not neatly contained on one side of a street or another I remain committed to continuing to work with state, city and anti-hunger advocates to ensure that we aggressively combat the growing problem of systemic poverty and hunger," said Rep. Brady.

Congressman Brady said funding for anti-hunger programs is ultimately allocated by city and state governments.

"We must all do better," he said.

Contact Us