Food Bank of Manatee County's shelves bare, proving poverty high here

July 21, 2013 

Did you know that over 46 million Americans are living in poverty right now? That's one in every six people.

More than 1 million schoolchildren in America are homeless, unsure of when they will get their next meal (and forget about whether it's healthy, hence the childhood obesity issue).

With these devastating statistics, compiled from our own U.S. census, why is funding repeatedly cut from the very programs that exist to heal the hunger sickness plaguing our country?

Locally, more than 40,000 of our Manatee County neighbors are in poverty, and approximately 2,000 schoolchildren here are homeless.

This situation is mirrored in the shelves of The Food Bank of Manatee and many others across the country, with gaping holes where boxed dinners, cereal and peanut butter used to sit.

Though The Food Bank of Manatee distributed more food in 2012 than ever before (enough for at least 3 million meals), it continues to experience a shortage in supply for local agencies helping people in need.

Hunger in America is real, as The Food Bank of Manatee sees every day. Reports and statistics from respected sources show that hunger is not a local problem or a result of poor planning, but a crisis throughout the country.

We can't change the economy overnight, but we can come together to help our community. Please consider making a financial gift or donating nonperishable food for the local babies, families and seniors in need.

I always say how much I love to cook for my family, and in my role as director of The Food Bank of Manatee, I get to feed Manatee County, too. I hope you will help me if you can.

Cindy Sloan


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