The state of hunger: A disconnect between need and available food


Jon Eriquezzo is having trouble getting the food he needs through national supply chains to deliver nutritious meals to seniors and people who are homebound, and as president of the Hillsborough Meals on Wheels, that’s a problem. But locally, at food pantries and farms, he’s seeing an excess supply.

Food pantries, meanwhile, have been turning away deliveries because they don’t have the storage space and the food isn’t moving off their shelves fast enough, say state employees who administer an emergency food program.

But this excess doesn’t mean the state has solved its hunger and food insecurity problems, according to advocates. They point to the nearly 80,000 people who reported not having enough to eat in the last seven days in Census Pulse data from early February, numbers that have swollen by 30,000 since last September. This comes at a time when one in four people are having trouble paying for basic household expenses.