In Connecticut, 14.6 percent of residents surveyed in 2012 said that in the prior 12 months there were times when they did not have enough money to buy the food they needed for themselves or their families. The survey results are according to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC’s) series of analyses of data on food hardship collected by Gallup as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The survey looks at the most recent available food hardship rates by state for 2012. It is part of a year-round survey that began in January 2008. One thousand individuals per day are asked, “Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”
The data comes on the heels of sequestration, automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect at midnight on March 1. Under these cuts, Connecticut is losing approximately $201,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors. And an additional 3,900 Connecticut women and children are being dropped from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) caseload.
FRAC’s survey shows one in seven Connecticut households continues to be affected by hunger, with higher numbers in the New Haven-Milford area (15.7 percent of respondents answering “yes”), followed by Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford (13.7 percent) and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (12.3 percent). Nationwide, 18.2 percent of households – or 1 in 6 Americans – answered yes to the question, basically unchanged from late 2008 to 2011.
“Once again, the Food Hardship survey demonstrates that Connecticut families continue to struggle to put food on the table,” said Connecticut Food Bank’s President & CEO Nancy L. Carrington. “One in seven households in Connecticut is affected by underemployment, unemployment, or unanticipated emergency expenses. Quite often these families are relying on Connecticut Food Bank’s food-assistance programs to feed themselves and their families, since many do not qualify for federal assistance.”
The full report is available at www.frac.org.