Empty Bowls Project 2014
November 9, 2014 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM | Location: Jackson Park Student Activities Center
Sunday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TLU Campus – Jackson Park Student Activities Center (on Fleming Drive)
Buy a beautiful, hand-crafted ceramic bowl for $15, receive a bowl of soup, and help bring attention to hunger in our community
Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by local artists on a community level. Empty Bowls events are held in cities across the country to support local food-related charities and food banks through monetary donations raised from the sale of hand-crafted, ceramic bowls.
Hunger in Guadalupe County
Data from Texas Food Bank Network. http://www.endhungerintex.org/
How many are hungry?
Hunger results from an inability to meet nutritional needs with available resources. The USDA measures hunger by asking families whether there was a time in the previous year when they had difficulty meeting their food needs. This measurement is called “food insecurity.”
- 16,280 Guadalupe County residents (15%) are food insecure.
- On average, these food insecure residents report an annual budget shortfall of $392 needed to afford “just enough” food – $6,383,580 in total.
- Many are eligible for federal nutrition programs like SNAP (food stamps), WIC or school meals.
- However, 63% may earn too much money to receive SNAP, and 43% may be ineligible for most federal nutrition programs.
- (Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” Project, http://feedingamerica.org/our-network/thestudies/m...)
What resources are available?
Another way to measure need compares the food resources of a vulnerable population to a dietary standard. According to USDA, a moderately-priced, nutritious diet for all of Guadalupe County’s low-income residents (with incomes below 185% of the poverty line) costs $94,645,713 annually.
- Currently, low-income county residents purchase the bulk of this food with their own money (50%).
- To make ends meet, many then combine their money with a patchwork of resources, the largest of which are SNAP (18%) and School Lunch (3%).
- Even after combining their own money with assistance, these residents face a 24% gap between their resources and the USDA standard, equal to $22,331,739 annually.
- For many, this resource gap may lead to poor nutrition or food insecurity. (Texas Food Bank Network analyses using public data.)
What can be done?
No matter how it is measured, hunger represents a disparity between income and expenses. As such, it can be permanently ended only by opportunities to earn and save enough money to meet the cost of living, and the knowledge to spend this money effectively.
In the meantime, existing nutrition programs can be used more effectively to reduce hunger. For example, Guadalupe County leaves $10,150,883 in SNAP benefits “on the table” in Washington each year, costing the county $18,170,080 in potential economic activity.
Volunteers, elected officials, nonprofits and the business community should work together to implement the strategies described in the attached report. These strategies will expand the resources available to hungry Guadalupe County residents, and reduce the gaps that currently exist. (Health and Human Services Commission of County statistics, http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/research/TANF_FS.asp)
San Antonio Food Bank
McQueeney Pottery by Walt Glass
Thank you to all of our partners who are donating their time, talents and soup to bring awareness to hunger in our community.
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