The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Philadelphia Inquirer: Hunger in Philadelphia Increases while Declining Nationwide

January 4, 2018
Event Date: 
December 1, 2017

The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a profile on the increasing rates of hunger in Philadelphia relative to the rest of the country. The research of Dr. Mariana Chilton and the Center for Hunger-Free Communities on hunger in the city are referenced in this article.


The Philadelphia Inquirer article draws from local testimony, national reports, and food security advocates to provides an overview of hunger in the city since the recession. Hunger is more than simply missing a meal. It is often the result of hard choices and competing day-to-day priorities in the face of broader systemic circumstances. Moreover, these systemic factors can often work together to perpetuate the cycle of hunger.


The Center's research showed that between 2006 and 2016, childhood hunger in North Philadelphia more than tripled among families where parents work 20 or more hours a week. The food-insecurity rate was 9.7 percent in Philadelphia last year, compared with 8.8 percent for children nationwide.


Melanie Hudson speaks to the bitter realities of long-term hunger in a modern American city. Hudson is one of hundreds of thousands of people represented in a startling new study that shows that while hunger has decreased throughout America in the last six years, the number of people who can’t afford enough food in Philadelphia and the surrounding region has gone up.


“Working people need food because the stores are expensive,” said Michael Bennett, director of food programs at Upper Room Baptist Church food pantry. “And lots of seniors are feeding themselves and their grandchildren. Once they get their Social Security check and pay their rent and utilities, they just don’t have enough for food.

“So they have to live hungry. Like too many people do.”


To read the full article click here.


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