No Hunger Game Part 3, The Faces Of Those In Need
NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA - Poverty in America is a mainstream issue. According to the 2012 Census Report. The number of poor people in America stands nearly at 50 million.
From students to seniors, poverty is affecting a range of people. In part three of our four-part series, No Hunger Game we find out how local food distributions are helping many make it to the end of the month.
Poverty is not only affecting the homeless man down the street, but all kinds of people. From the warehouse to the hands of those in need, the bread of the mighty food bank visits neighborhoods and passes out bags filled with food, for many a bag filled with blessings.
The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank distributed about 6.1 million pounds of food from 2012 to 2013. They distribute food at all kinds of sites across five counties. One of those sites is the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, they feed the poor every Thursday. They call it, Gainesville Harvest. For over a decade, Robert Ayer has volunteered his Thursday mornings. "God gave his only son so that we may live, in the spirit of Jesus Christ our savior we try to live the presets that god has given us and doing the things we think god will be happy and blessing us for," Ayer said.
The type of people that take advantage of the food bank vary. Meet Sharron Key for example, a single working mom. "When you're trying to pull bills and buy food it is really costly and now everything just went up and everybody is trying to make ends meet," Key said.
She's not the only one, stretching her paycheck to keep groceries in the fridge. So are college students like Nikkia Jerrido. "Me applying for snap has been very beneficial throughout my college career. I would say with working part-time, going to school full-time… it has really helped me tremendously,” Jerrido said.
She became an intern for the "bread of the mighty food bank" to help low income students like herself, apply for food stamps-snap. Michael Demers, the Food Bank's Development Coordinator, says government help is not enough.
"The government's role as it sees itself right now is to supplement, that which isn't being received by people. It doesn't see itself as the core responsible entity to make sure that people are fed enough over the course of a week or a month or a year," Demers said.
According to the national food bank network Feeding America, North Central Florida has about 150 thousand people who are food insecure. "And what we're finding is that we're not going to be able to address the needs for the poor unless we find a way of collaborating rather than competing and that we have to come together in partnerships to address the need," Demers said.
He truly believes the community's joint effort can end this desperate demand.
Click here for more info on the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.
Click here for more info on Feeding America.
This is part 3 of a 4 part series:
Click here for part 1, which takes us inside of the Bread Of The Mighty Food Bank.
Click here for part 2, which shows us the faces of those who help.
Click here for part 3, which shows us the faces of those in need.
Click here for part 4, which focuses on struggling families.
- No Hunger Game Part 2, The Faces Of Those Who Help
- No Hunger Game Part 1, The Bread Of The Mighty Food Bank
- No Hunger Games: Mobile Pantries
- Hunger Games: Students Giving Back
- Helping The Hungry During Holidays
- Third Annual Empty Bowls Event Fighting Hunger in North Central Florida
- No Hunger Games: Empty Bowls, Kids Gain By Giving Back
- Food Banks Raise Awareness for National Hunger Action Month
- Food Drive For The Holidays
- Kid's Central: Helping Find Homes For Those Who Need It Most