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Rural Hunger

The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is actively bringing the fight against hunger to rural Ohio and working to equip local charities with all the tools required to meet food needs in local communities.  As a part of its agency capacity building program, the Foodbank has partnered with two charities in Tuscarawas County, Journeys End Ministries in Newcomerstown and the Greater Dover New Philadelphia Food Pantry, and together in this county hit hard by unemployment and rising need for emergency food have provided the equivalent of 700,000 more meals this year than last year. 

The Foodbank has increased food distribution to the Greater Dover New Philadelphia Food Pantry by over 1000% this year.  Journey's End Ministries has received 167% more food than last year. Journey's End Ministries now ranks number one and the Greater Dover New Philadelphia Food Pantry ranks number two in food received from the Foodbank in 2009, each ordering over a half million pounds through September.

Hunger affects many people in rural areas in Ohio. Addressing hunger in rural communities can be more difficult than in urban and suburban areas.

Hunger:  A difficult problem to address in rural areas
  • Nearly 43 percent of all client households served by food banks in the U.S. reside in suburban and rural areas*
  • 11.7% of rural households in the U.S. are food insecure, an estimated 2.2 million households**
  • 17.7% of rural households with children are food insecure, over 1 million children**
  • Rural communities generally experience higher poverty and unemployment than urban and suburban communities
  • Employment is concentrated in low-wage industries
  • Education levels are lower
  • Work-support services, such as flexible and affordable child care and public transportation, are less available
  • The stigma of seeking help is greater in rural communities

* Feeding America, Hunger in America 2006
** Economic Research Service, Household Food Insecurity in the United States, 2006


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