The Number of Hungry Houstonians is Growing

The number of people in the area who are hungry is growing dramatically according to a new study called "Hunger in America 2010". Rod Rice reports that the Houston Food Bank and its partner agencies helped gather data on the number of hungry people in Houston and the surrounding area.

"The number of individuals, the number of families has gone up very significantly; about a 74% increase. The largest increase has actually been in children."

Brian Greene is the President and CEO of Houston Food Bank. He says the number of hungry children here has increased by 85% since 2006. Also increasing is the number of homes receiving food help with at least one person working.

"Too many of our jobs are low wage jobs."

He says one solution to that problem is to get more families signed up for food stamps, a program that puts money back into local food stores.

Greene says there has also been a significant increase in the number of hungry families that are not below the poverty level.

"In most cases this would be because of recent unemployment, so they're not technically below the poverty level but their income has stopped and or has been significantly curtailed and they've got fixed expenses that they can't get out of."

Greene says Houston Food Bank is trying to expand to meet the need.  He says increasing capacity also means it needs more volunteers.

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...