During the next twelve months, one out of eight families will find themselves unable to buy basic groceries without giving up medicine or housing or the electric bill - and maybe not even then.
Davidson County encompasses some 500 square miles. United Way identifies fewer than thirty traditional food banks serving the area, each with its own schedule of limited hours, each requiring pickup at its location.
Roughly three-quarters of our applicants lack personal transportation, and traveling to and from the nearest food bank is a six-mile trip. The city bus is an alternative, but it's a difficult one for disabled persons or parents with small children.
USDA surveys of food pantry clients reveal that one out of every five recalls a time when they needed food but were unable to visit a food bank because of transportation, distance, illness, or work schedule. People who are never able to visit a pantry were omitted from the survey, so overall need is even more significant.