PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Despite hunger rates dropping in most of the country, Philadelphia had a 22% increase in hunger over the past 6 years, according to a new study.
"One day if I get a job I could take care of myself," Tyshia Robinson said.
The faces of hunger cross a wide spectrum in the Greater Philly region. Tyshia has epilepsy, works part-time and gets federal assistance for food.
"The people who suffer from hunger in our region and throughout the country are working people who just don’t have enough to make ends meet," Philabundance CEO Glenn Bergman said.
According to a new study, the number of people struggling against hunger in Philadelphia increased by 22% over the last 6 years.
"1 in of 5 people in the City of Philadelphia now live in homes that can't afford enough food," CEO of Hunger Free America Joel Berg said.
The results of the study by the national non-profit Hunger Free America were released Monday at the headquarters of Philabundance, which is one of a number of local non-profits that helps to feed 90,000 people a week.
"Philadelphia not only has one of the higher hunger rates in the United States but it has one of the highest poverty rate of any big city," Berg explained.
"Basically by the end of the month, folks living on food stamps have run out and have to rely on places like this to either come in and eat a healthy meal or they have to get referred to different food banks," Director of Social Work Services Jeremi James said.
Advocates fear proposed cuts to federal programs which fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, will only make it worse and place a greater burden on non-profits like the Broad Street Ministry. Places where recipients like Makeda Costello turn when their SNAP money is exhausted. "I would probably just starve I guess because I wouldn’t have any food," she said.