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HIGHLIGHTS OF FINDINGS | ST. LOUIS
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by St. Louis Area Foodbank (SLAFB). The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2001, conducted for America's Second Harvest (A2H), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed in-person interviews with more than 32,000 clients served by the A2H network, as well as completed questionnaires from nearly 24,000 A2H agencies. This report is based on surveys of 322 clients and 251 agencies served by St. Louis Area Foodbank.
Key findings are summarized below:
HOW MANY CLIENTS RECEIVE FOOD FROM SLAFB EMERGENCY FOOD PROVIDERS?
43,580 different people receive assistance in any given week.
WHO RECEIVES EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE?
Agencies served by St. Louis Area Foodbank provide food for a broad cross-section of households. Key characteristics include:
36.6% of the members of households served by St. Louis Area Foodbank are children under 18 years old.
8.2% of the members of households served by St. Louis Area Foodbank are children age 0 to 5 years.
12.0% are elderly.
Approximately 56.6% of clients are white; 39.6% are African American, and the rest are from other racial or ethnic groups.
28.1% of households include at least one employed adult.
69.8% have incomes below the official federal poverty level during the previous month.
5.9% are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and 0.8% are receiving General Assistance.
4.1% are homeless.
MANY SLAFB CLIENTS ARE FOOD INSECURE OR ARE EXPERIENCING HUNGER
Among all clients of St. Louis Area Foodbank, 82.4% are classified as food insecure, using the U.S. government's official food security scale. This includes both clients who are food insecure without hunger and those classified as food insecure with hunger.
47.5% of all clients of the St. Louis Area Foodbank are classified by the scale as experiencing hunger.
Among households with children, 88.7% are food insecure and 55.6% are experiencing hunger.
MANY SLAFB CLIENTS REPORT HAVING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN FOOD AND OTHER NECESSITIES
58.5% of clients report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel.
34.9% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage bill.
28.5% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
DO SLAFB CLIENTS ALSO RECEIVE FOOD ASSISTANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?
41.9% of Foodbank client households are receiving Food Stamp Program benefits; however, it is likely that many more are eligible (Table 7.2.1).
Among Foodbank client households with pre-school children, 39.7% participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Among Foodbank client households with school-age children, 64.6% and 58.8%, respectively, participate in the federal school lunch and school breakfast programs.
MANY SLAFB CLIENTS ARE IN POOR HEALTH
43.9% of Foodbank client households report having at least one household member in poor health.
MOST CLIENTS ARE SATISFIED WITH THE SERVICES THEY RECEIVE FROM SLAFB AGENCIES
98.8% of adult clients said they were either "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the amount of food they received from the St. Louis Area Foodbank; 99.2% were satisfied with the quality of the food they received (Table 9.2.1).
HOW LARGE IS THE SLAFB NETWORK?
St. Louis Area Foodbank includes approximately 339 agencies.
WHAT KINDS OF ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE SLAFB EMERGENCY FOOD PROGRAMS?
83.4% of pantries, 55.0% of kitchens, and 65.8% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).
Most of the other agencies are private nonprofit organizations with no religious affiliation (Table 10.6.1).
HAVE AGENCIES BEEN EXPERIENCING CHANGES IN THE NEED FOR THEIR SERVICES?
57.8% pantries, 63.0% kitchens, and 48.3% shelters reported that there had been an increase since 1998 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).
WHERE DO SLAFB AGENCIES OBTAIN THEIR FOOD?
The St. Louis Area Foodbank is by far the single most important source of food for most agencies, accounting for 37.5% of the food used by pantries, 32.9% of kitchens' food, and 17.2% of shelters' food (Table 13.1.1).
Other important sources of food include religious organizations and direct purchases from wholesalers and retailers (Table 13.1.1).
Government commodity programs account for about 9.6% of food for pantries, 5.3% for kitchens, and 0.0% for shelters (Table 13.1.1).
VOLUNTEERS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN SLAFB AGENCIES
93.5% of pantries, 95.0% of kitchens, and 76.5% of shelters use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
Many programs rely entirely on volunteers; 64.1% of pantry programs and 37.7% of kitchens have no paid staff at all (Table 13.2.1).