Monday, September 24, 2007

Unemployment down... hunger up

Recently, Texas Workforce announced that the unemployment rate for Lubbock and the region dipped to 3.5%. In spite of low unemployment, the South Plains Food Bank and our network of 230 agencies continues to feel the pressure of increased request for food assistnace.

Over the past two decades, The South Plains Food Bank, a Member of America's Second Harvest-The Nation's Food Bank Network, has witnessed a new and disturbing trend: employment is no longer a sufficient means to escape poverty. According to Hunger in America 2006, 36% of families served by the America's Second Harvest Network have one or more family member working. Additionally, nearly 18 million people live in working poor families.

The same study indicates the number of working families served by SPFB is in line with national averages with 33% of families served having one or more familiy members working. This fragile existence forces many people to make choices between paying rent or mortgage and putting food on the table. It forces some to choose between paying for utilities and buying food, while others struggle to choose between healthcare and a meal.

The South Plains Food Bank and soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other hunger-relief organizations across the South Plains are seeing drastic increases in the number of working families in need of our services, children with working parents living in poverty, and people struggling to make ends meet.

When you volunteer at the South Plains Food Bank or one of our agencies, when you donate funds, and when you tell others about hunger and the South Plains Food Bank, you are making a difference in the lives of the hungry.

For more information on the South Plains Food Bank, visit