People are going hungry in Fayette County.
A report on hunger, recently released by God’s Pantry food bank, reflected a 44 percent increase overall in program participation since 2007.
For many, eating isn’t a priority. When families have to make a choice between eating and other financial obligations, such as putting gas in a car to get to work, eating loses out, said Mandy Brajuha, external-relations manager for God’s Pantry, a regional food bank that serves 50 counties.
“When people are making tough choices, food is often the loser,” she said.
Another statistic from this year’s report: 51 percent of those who received food from God’s Pantry in 2010 said they were getting it for the first time.
“I think we’re seeing more people than ever before who are either still working, or working less hours, who are finding themselves reaching out for food assistance for the first time in their lives,” Brajuha said.
She also noted an increase in the level of education of participants in the program.
“More clients with college education are getting help, which to me speaks to issues of finding a job and our economy,” Brajuha said. “It is harder to find a job now after graduating college.”
The following are some of the statistics from the report and information on how you can help.