NEW BERLIN – According to a study published by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity in the United States has reached epidemic levels. In 2012 14.5 percent of Americans – roughly 46 million people – were at some point considered food insecure, meaning they lived in hunger or in fear of starvation.
Within Chenango County, the number of families and individuals needing assistance for nutrition from local food banks and charities is moderately increased to a figure of 16 percent, due to the economical landscape.
In recent years, the increased demand, and resulting increased responsibility of aiding those in need has fallen onto the shoulders of many area churches to bear.
“Hunger in Chenango county is not an issue that is exclusive only to people who are struggling with poverty or homelessness,” explains Reverend Charles G. Taylor (otherwise know as Father Chuck Taylor). “There are many people who are part of the “working poor” class, often working 40 or more hours per week holding multiple jobs and still not having enough cash reserved for purchasing food after all other necessary costs of life are paid,” he said.