Food bank announces results of study showing state of hunger in northern Nevada | News from Carson City, Nevada

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada on Monday announced the release of a year-long effort to gain valuable insight into what families are dealing with on a daily basis when it comes to hunger and food insecurity. The Feeding Our Community survey was conducted in partnership with the Nevada Center for Surveys, Evaluation, and Statistics at the University of Nevada Reno.

Neighbors served by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada were surveyed from March 2021 to March 2022 throughout the 90,000 square mile service area. The organization surveyed people in urban, rural and border counties across the region to get a complete picture of the challenges and choices people face in their daily lives.

“We knew the effort would be significant as we were still grappling with the effects of the pandemic, but knowing what our neighbors were dealing with was more important than ever,” said Nicole Lamboley, President and CEO of Food Bank of Northern Nevada. “One thing we are always sure of as an organization is that we want to do our job better every year. Information and data like this help us to do this.”

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada learned that more than 65% of the people they serve have household incomes less than $20,000 per year and 85% have household incomes less than $30,000 per year. You know that 17% of aid recipients have served in the US military. They also learned that 72% of respondents rent or own their own home, with 26% paying for a mortgage.

The survey found that 1 in 5 people go without food or the money to buy groceries nearly every month, and 62% of respondents said they had to skip meals or cut portions in the past year. Almost half of respondents said they buy unhealthy options because of lower costs.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada felt it was important to include the pandemic and its impact in the survey questions, and learned that 29% began using a pantry program as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization hears from families that they face impossible choices in their daily lives, and the survey confirmed that more than 41% of families had to choose between food and housing costs or utilities. More than half of those cared for by the organization had to choose between transport and food, and one in three had to choose between medical care and food.

Families revealed obstacles they face in getting the necessary food for their family. The study showed that 16% have to drive more than 30 minutes to get groceries from a store or pantry. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada and its 150+ agency partners use the information gathered from the survey to find better ways to serve the community.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada currently serves more than 130,000 people per month, a record number for the organization. The organization supports the community through a network of 150 partner agencies and direct service programs to reach the people living in the 90,000 square mile service area. The Food Bank is entering its 40th year of helping those facing food insecurity and hunger in the region.