Study Shows Many In Philadelphia Area Struggle To Pay For Food

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study shows the Philadelphia area has a high rate of what is called “food hardship” — that is, households without enough money to buy all the food they need.

The analysis by the Food Research and Action Center found that more than 20 percent of local households with children answered “yes” when asked if there had been times when they didn’t have money to buy food.

The highest rate, where nearly half the households surveyed showed unmet food needs, was in the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania, covering South Philadelphia and parts of Delaware County.

chiltonmariana pic Study Shows Many In Philadelphia Area Struggle To Pay For FoodBut Mariana Chilton (in file photo at right), of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University, says every congressional district in the state had some food hardship.

“There’s really no place where you can go where you can’t find families struggling to pay for food,” Chilton notes.

She says assistance programs such as food stamps are all that are preventing chronic hunger in these households, and she worries that the current budget-cutting fervor will damage that safety net.

“It’s going to get very bad if we cut any of these programs,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Angry Revolutionary

    Frank is right and thus the problem. Instead of cutting out unnecessary items such as expensive, clothes, phones, cars, cable, big screen televisions etc people just work the system. Social programs need deep cuts in this country and people need to live within their means. My wife and I combines make 65K and still have to pinch every penny and we have a child on the way. We don’t have the ability to receive food stamps, free baby food, free cell phones, discounted utilities, discounted cable and internet, almost free child care, etc. Instead we are the middle class Joe’s that pay for it. In the mean time the state and federal government cuts funding to things like national and state parks, raises tolls and makes it damn near impossible to enjoy the fruits of our labor. In the 1980’s it cost nine bucks a night to stay in a state park and go camping, today it is $25 per night and the budget to the state parks was cut close to 40% this year while the budget for welfare was cut by about 10 percent. You tell me who is getting the shaft. It’s time for an uprising in this country but it needs to be done with our voice and with politicians that will do the bidding of the working man and woman!

  • Carol

    I worked for a large supermarket for 3 years, when you see the people using their access cards look at their cloths, phones, jewelry, and cars. It’s a joke I wish I could learn how to play the system, I think if you want to make it in america these days you have to come in from another country, learn how the system works and lie. I ‘ve seen who goes hungry, its the middle class working poor who pay for all of this and struggle to buy food because it has to come from their paychecks. It’s sad that America has come to this point, Where is the pride? Something has to change, people who need it should get it but the abuse should stop!

  • Jim Charles

    Maybe we need to re-prioritize. If you are single, healthy, and between the ages of 21 and 40, you will not get food assistance so we can help families with children. Also, those that get assistance need to be held more accountable to those of us that pay for their food. Like where they can buy food and the types of food that are eligible. Plus, how many children or adults are in Philly hospitals for being malnourished that are in this group. Plus, I would like to see a report showing the BMI for those who are complaining.

  • bottomline

    Another thing that bothers me is people who say they’re starving, but there are always take out food containers in their trash. Seems they think I’m obligated to help them with what I save by doing my own cooking.

  • ck

    Amen to that Frank! I do not doubt that there are families that have actual trouble paying for food. But no one ‘accounts for’ all the fraud that takes place on a daily basis with people gaming the system -in more ways than one. I guarantee these people have tvs, cable, xboxes, cell phone(s), etc. in their homes. It is those people who prevent the ones in actual need from receiving help. STOP THE FRAUD!

  • Frank

    Laughable article.

    The “hardship” is self-reported. I wonder how many of these people simply don’t prioritize.

    Last time I checked, you can’t eat a cell phone.

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