Toward an Understanding of Food Pantry Food Recipients and the Agencies that Serve Them
Second Harvest North Florida (Second Harvest) provides food for approximately 450 organizations/agencies covering 17 counties in North Florida. These organizations that receive food include meal providers (“soup kitchens”), food pantries, religious organizations, and small, independent groups. In 2011, Second Harvest distributed more than 20 million pounds of food, an increase of 162% since 2008 (Second Harvest 2012). While it is clear that Second Harvest provides a large number of agencies and providers with increasing amounts of food for distribution, much less is known about who is hungry and what the “profile” of these recipients looks like. Local news reports and anecdotes from providers cite the increased number and “changing face” of poor requesting food assistance, but a more in-depth analysis of recipients is very much needed. In this paper we reflect on the process and results of surveys conducted with approximately 250 North Florida agencies and with more than 500 people waiting in line at 26 food pantries across the seven-county Northeast Florida region. The findings from the surveys with the agencies and the clients are clear that a number of people are facing significant problems with regard to food security, and that little optimism exists that things will get better anytime soon.
Journal of Applied Social Science
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Will, & Milligan, T. A. (2015). Toward an Understanding of Food Pantry Food Recipients and the Agencies that Serve Them. Journal of Applied Social Science, 9(1), 65–74. https://doi.org/10.1177/1936724413509249