Study Reveals Record Number of New Mexicans Seeking Weekly Emergency Food Assistance
A landmark study released in 2010 by the New Mexico Association of Food Banks and Feeding America (the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization) reports that nearly 40,000 New Mexicans are seeking food assistance each week.
That’s the equivalent of having a city the size of Farmington need emergency food every seven days.
Some of the statistics pulled from the study are below:
- 40% of the members of households served are children under the age of 18.
- 13% of the members of our client households are elderly.
- 54% of surveyed clients report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel.
- 38% had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage.
- 45% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care.
- 42% had to choose between paying for food and paying for transportation.
- While thousands of New Mexicans receive assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), those funds only provide 2.3 weeks of groceries.
This national hunger study includes data collected from February through June 2009.
In New Mexico, 459 people seeking emergency food assistance were surveyed as well as 454 agencies that provide food assistance around the state.
This is the first large scale research study to capture the significant connection between the recent economic downturn and an increased need for emergency food assistance.