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1 in 5 Adults

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1 in 5 Children

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100,000 Neighbors

Who Goes Hungry in the Big Bend?

Many people are surprised to learn that Second Harvest’s 11-county service area in the Big Bend has the highest level of food insecurity in Florida, at 18.9%, or 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children. Almost 100,000 of our neighbors, including families, children and seniors, experience hunger on a regular basis.

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough safe, nutritious and socially acceptable food for an active, healthy and productive life.

Who Goes Hungry in the Big Bend?

Many people are surprised to learn that Second Harvest’s 11-county service area in the Big Bend has the highest level of food insecurity in Florida, at 18.9%, or 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children. Almost 100,000 of our neighbors, including families, children and seniors, experience hunger on a regular basis.

If you, or someone you know needs nutritional assistance, we can help you locate emergency food services in your community. You can use this map to locate a fixed food pantry (red) or upcoming mobile food pantry distribution (blue) near you. You can also find a written schedule of mobile food pantry distributions in the Big Bend below.

What Causes Food Insecurity?
photo of smiling family

Many factors contribute to food insecurity. Rural communities are particularly at risk for food insecurity, which further impacts our region. Today, millions of “working poor” families live paycheck-to-paycheck, and just one unexpected expense or missed paycheck can force them to make hard choices about paying for necessities such as food, housing, utilities, transportation and medication. Working poor families do not qualify for federal nutrition assistance and depend on Second Harvest and our partners to help make ends meet during difficult times.

What are the Effects of Food Insecurity?

Chronic Disease

  • Food Insecurity is associated with higher probability of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and kidney disease

Child Hunger

Hunger can harm a child’s opportunities to reach their full potential and contribute fully to their communities—which affects society.

Children from food-insecure homes may be more likely to:

  • Have lower math scores
  • Repeat a grade in elementary school
  • Experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills
  • Have more social and behavioral problems
  • Be less prepared for the workforce as adults

Senior Hunger

Seniors who are food-insecure have:

  • Higher rates of chronic diseases
  • Poorer general health
  • Three times higher prevalence of depression
  • Diminished capacity to maintain independence while aging