The Need

Cars lined up for a Mobile Food Pantry

This includes nearly 80,000 children. This risk means they are food insecure. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

People from all walks of life can become food insecure, and many will find themselves in need at some point during their lifetime. In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, many neighbors are just one job loss or medical crisis away from not having enough to eat. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how close many of us are to being in need: 1 in 5 U.S. residents sought help from a charitable food provider at some point
during the pandemic.

Neighbors may be anxious about where their next meal is coming from. Even if not experienced every day, this uncertainty is a negative experience, especially for children. Their and ability to focus in school may suffer as a result.

Neighbors may be forced to choose options that don’t meet their nutritional needs, whether due to affordability or access. Neighbors living in food-insecure households are at greater risk of chronic disease including stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension.

Neighbors may run out of food before they can buy more. If put in this situation, they may be forced to skip meals. Tough choices like these can have devastating effects—high blood pressure, lack of concentration, severe depression and more.

Map the Meal Gap data
Impacts of Hunger 
Veteran & Military Hunger 
Senior Food Insecurity Studies
Food Insecurity in Black Communities
Food Insecurity in Hispanic & Latinx Communities
Fighting Food Waste
2021 Mobile Food Pantry Program Report
Click here for ideas for reducing food waste