Conversations with Food Pantry Directors

In light of the current Farm Bill debates, particularly around increasing work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, I wanted to post some food assessment reports that we carried out as part of our Voices into Action research.  As part of these reports, which were done in partnership with local coalitions and organizations, we interviewed food pantry directors about their capacity and needs.  We interviewed 28 pantry directors across the three counties, who talked with us about how they were already unable to meet the needs of their clients.

As we wrote about in our recent op-Ed, families facing hunger and food insecurity are already struggling to get food on the table.  And as our colleague Lindsey Haynes-Maslow’s research has demonstrated, SNAP benefits are currently not enough to help families in poverty afford a healthy diet.  This was echoed by the food pantry directors we talked with, who were intimately aware of the impacts that cuts to SNAP could have on their already precarious ability to serve individuals and families who are food insecure:

  • 96% of these pantry directors saw in increase in need for their services over the last year.
  • 60% said they were falling short of meeting their client needs.
  • 33% of pantry directors had to turn away a client bc they didn’t have enough food.

To read more about what they told us, and hear from families, farmers, and faith communities who are doing what they can to address these issues, check out our food assessment reports here:

SE Raleigh Food Assessment Report 2014

VIA-Lee County Food Assessment 2014

Harnett County Food Assessment Report 2014

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