Ask the Hunger Center
Below, you will find our answers to some of the more interesting questions we receive regarding hunger. We will update this page occasionally to bring you more information. If you'd like to ask your own question, please feel free to do so and we will respond as soon as we can.
Ask the Hunger Center a Question.
Has hunger decreased since the worst days of the recession?
The national "food insecurity" rate rose significantly in 2008 with the onset of the recession and it has not improved since then. The rate of food insecurity in our area also remains unacceptably high, affecting more than one in six North Texans. Visit Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap to learn more.
Where is hunger concentrated in our area? Is it mainly in the poorest neighborhoods?
The Hunger Center Map shows how North Texas Food Bank programs overlap with neighborhood economics. The lower your income, the greater your risk of hunger. However, six of 10 households in poverty report little or no food access problems, while many low to moderate income households struggle to keep healthy food on the table. Households with "low incomes," i.e., below 185 percent of the poverty level (about $43,000 for a family of four in 2013) are eligible for food pantry services. Nearly one in three residents of our 13-county area have incomes below that level. They live in every county we serve and are at much greater risk of hunger than households with higher incomes.
Do people who go to food pantries also get food stamps? Do they need both?
About four in 10 NTFB pantry clients are currently participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). We do everything we can to assist eligible households to apply for SNAP benefits. For most participants, SNAP is helpful but not sufficient to meet their total monthly food needs. In fact, SNAP is not designed to provide a full month's worth of food; the average monthly benefit in our area (about $125 per person) lasts for just over half a month. Many recipients receive significantly less and many pantry clients are ineligible, based on their income or other factors. The gross monthly income limit for most SNAP applicants is 130 percent of poverty (about $2,500 for a family of four). Visit USDA SNAP Eligibility Guidelines to learn more.
Director of Research at NTFB
As Director of Research for the NTFB, Richard Amory is developing The Hunger Center of North Texas. Prior to assuming this role, Richard managed the NTFB’s grant solicitation and foundation relationships, as well as the strategic planning process that produced the ReThink Hunger campaign.
In addition to his work with the NTFB, Richard serves as a Data Coach to other Dallas area nonprofit organizations through the Data Driven Decision-Making (D3) Institute, a project of Communities Foundation of Texas. He is President of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board and a member of Children’s Medical Center’s Beyond ABC Advisory Board.