1 in 7 people in the United States rely on pantries for meals each day.
And in parts of Texoma those numbers are even higher.
1 in 3 people use the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank.
Those numbers were released Monday as part of a new study that claims to be the most comprehensive hunger study ever done.
“We all know somebody whether we realize it or not that has a hunger issue and unfortunately we don't seem to want to recognize that time or admit that is happening in our region,” says Mark McKethan with the WF Food Bank.
A new Feeding America study shows the situation in counties that use the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank is worse than it is in other parts of the country, with one third of the population relying on help getting food to the table.
The study shows when hunger numbers are high health concerns arise.
“70 percent of the households reported that they bought cheap or expensive food in lieu of healthy food because they just could not afford to do otherwise,” says McKethan.
And buying those types of foods can lead to major health risk.
“Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure,” says McKethan.
32 percent of houses surveyed had family members with diabetes and kids who face hunger are at risk for more problems as well.
“Children in there early ages, are robbed, hunger robs them of a fulfilling life because it affects there development,” says McKethan.
McKethan says not having enough money for food forces families to make tough choices.
68% of them had to choose between food or paying for medicine
45% between food and paying for housing.
And 63% between food and paying utilities.
These are choices McKethan says he hopes one day less people will have to face on a daily basis.
“We as a community have to work on improving the quality of the jobs that we have and that we offer and at the same time continue the passionate level of giving,” says McKethan.
For more information on the study or to find out how you can volunteer or donate to help local families click here.
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