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

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE