Article

Reasons We Give Back

Posted by Stephanie Strang on Nov 15, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Topic: ALL

Map of Wisconsin

Food Insecurity in Wisconsin

A survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that one in ten households in Wisconsin is food-insecure. Thousands of households in our state reported feeling “uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members."

Food insecurity happens at different levels, and in the most severe cases, family members may have to reduce food portions or skip meals because they don’t have enough money for food. In other words, people go hungry. This doesn’t just affect some counties – people from every county in Wisconsin reported food insecurity.

It can be difficult to imagine these realities in our own neighborhoods, but the truth is, food insecurity affects 12% of all people in Wisconsin and 19% of children in Wisconsin (248,570 children). You may not realize it, but the parent you see on field trips, the elderly neighbor down the street, or your child’s friend could be living without adequate food for an active and healthy lifestyle.

Click the map below to view food insecurity rates for children in every Wisconsin county.

food-insecurities

Income and food insecurity

We might think everyone who needs help can get resources from a federal program like WIC or SNAP (food stamps) to help them get by, but thousands of food insecure households do not qualify for federal nutrition programs because their income exceeds the qualifications – they are living above the federal poverty level, but still struggling financially. A working parent may receive a paycheck, then have to make difficult choices between buying food and paying for medical care, a heat bill, or a pair of shoes for growing children. Sometimes there’s just not enough to cover all the essential expenses. When times are tough, community food banks and nonprofit programs help bridge that gap, supporting families and individuals who need relief from food insecurity and offering encouragement on the difficult days.

How we can help

Bank Mutual is dedicated to supporting our communities, as professionals and good neighbors, and we’re taking the opportunity to lend a helping hand where it’s needed. During the month of Thanksgiving and harvest, we’re supporting our local food drives with the hope that no one will be hungry this holiday season. Find out more about your location’s food drive and help fill the donation box on your next visit to Bank Mutual. We invite customers to join us in supporting our communities and eliminating food insecurity in our neighborhoods!

Sources
USDA – Definitions of Food Security
USDA – Key Statistics & Graphics
Feeding America – Map the Meal Gap: Food Insecurity in Wisconsin