March 14th, 2012

Report finds Alabama 2nd hungriest state in the nation, Birmingham 12th hungriest metro area

BIRMINGHAM – According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), 23.4 percent of respondents in Alabama in 2011 said they didn’t have enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some point during the prior twelve months.

FRAC’s February Food Hardship in America – 2011 report provides data on food hardship, which is the inability to afford enough food.  Findings include:

o Statewide, 23.4 percent of households said they were unable to afford enough food, which is the second highest rate in the country.

o The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a food hardship rate of 21.3 percent, which is the 12th highest rate among the nation’s 100 largest MSAs.

o The 7th Congressional District reported 27.2 percent food hardship, which is the highest in the state and 23rd highest in the country.

o The 6th Congressional District reported 16.3 percent food hardship, which is the only Alabama congressional district below the national average.

“Many Alabamians have told us that they are having trouble affording groceries, and this data substantiates their personal stories,” said Alabama Poverty Project Executive Director Kristina Scott.

The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which interviewed 1,000 households daily since January 2008. Specific to this analysis, people were asked, “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” FRAC analyzed the data gathered by Gallup.

“Having enough food to eat is the most basic of human needs.  However, we can’t food bank our way out of poverty and hunger. In these tough fiscal times, it is more important than ever to address the systems that cause food hardship. I challenge lawmakers and communities to support sustainable solutions so that our neighbors can meet their own needs,” said Scott.

The full report is available at www.frac.org.

About the Alabama Poverty Project

Alabama is the third poorest state in the nation, with 18.9 percent of households subsisting below the poverty line. The Alabama Poverty Project (APP) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to reducing systemic poverty through strategic relationships with faith communities, higher education institutions and civic organizations. For information and resources, visit our website, https://alabamapossible.org.