More than 10% of households in the U.S. were food-insecure in 2021, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. About 12% of households with children also faced food insecurity in 2021, meaning at times it wasn’t clear if their family would have money or other necessitates to acquire food, the USDA said.
September is Hunger Action Month, and Hall said it’s a good time to help others. The Hall Hunger Initiative is donating $2,500 to the cause.
“It only takes a few cents, a couple of dollars, to help us. Reach across the road and help your neighbor and help your friends,” he said.
The program will go through Friday.
The need for services is growing here, said Mike Lehner, Catholic Social Services director of marketing and development. He said the pantry’s guests usually use it about once or twice a year to help bridge a gap and that the pantry is close to serving just as many people as it did before the pandemic. He said the pantry aims to provide people with a balanced selection of food.
Gem City Market Community Programming Manager Morgan Hood said the market is always looking for ways to address hunger here. She said it is also a place people can gather and help each other.
“This is where people can come and be in community, grow together, commune and learn,” she said.
Hall and Lehner said the market plays a big role in providing food access to the neighborhood.