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Hunger in Working America

From Paycheck to Pantry:1

From Paycheck to Pantry: Hunger and the Working PoorThe research report, From Paycheck to Pantry: Hunger in Working America, documents the challenges facing many working families that receive charitable food assistance through the Feeding America network. While more than half (54%) of all client households have a member that has worked for pay in the past 12 months, these households still experience difficulties in meeting their basic needs. Limited hours, changes in employment status, low incomes, and competing household expenses are some of the common challenges.

  • Nearly nine out of ten (89%) client households with employment report an annual household income of $30,000 or less.
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of working client households live at or below the federal poverty line, which was $23,550 for a family of four in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Many client households face challenges in securing full-time positions, with more than half (57%) of working client households reporting part-time employment (30 hours or less per week).

In addition, the report identifies the variety of ways in which client households with employment struggle to make ends meet, such as making tough decisions between paying for food and other living expenses, as well as utilizing a variety of other coping mechanisms to access enough food. They report high rates of participation in federal and charitable programs. In addition, one in four (24%) working client households has an adult member currently enrolled in school, whose increased educational attainment may allow for more employment prospects and/or higher paying positions in the future, but may contribute to the present strain on household resources.

The report findings are based on additional analyses of data collected from Hunger in America 2014 about client households with employment in the past year. The report was released jointly by Feeding America and Oxfam America in November 2014.



Five Myths About Hunger*

Help debunk these common hunger myths.

February 14, 2018
by Allison Weber

Hunger can be hard to spot in America. You can’t always see it—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our country is affluent by global standards, yet there are families in every county in the U.S. who can’t afford to stock their cupboards with the food they need.

If we can debunk these five myths about hunger, we can help raise awareness of the problem and loosen its grasp on people in need:



MYTH: There’s a hunger crisis in other parts of the world—not in America.

FACT: More than 41 million people face hunger in the United States. That’s more people than the entire population of Canada. And it means that across our nation, people simply can’t make ends meet. High housing costs, rising food prices and unexpected expenses have left millions unable to stretch their dollars far enough. Sometimes they can put a warm meal on the table after a long day—and sometimes they go to bed hungry.


MYTH: People who face hunger in America are typically homeless and unemployed.
FACT: Most of the households we serve are not homeless, and they have at least one working adult. In homes across the nation, there are people like Claudia who wake up with the sun and turn out the lights late. They’re working nearly every day, giving back to their community and raising a family. Even though they’re pinching pennies, they struggle to fill their plates with the food they need to keep going.


MYTH: Hunger is most frequently found in cities.

FACT: Hunger is common in rural areas—including some of the farming communities that grow America’s crops. Seventy-five percent of the counties with the highest hunger rates in America are in rural areas. Limited access to jobs, transportation and education make it tough to earn a living in remote areas like rural Alaska. Some are forced to choose between paying for groceries or other essentials like heat. This is an especially difficult choice for parents during the winter, and it’s all too common.


MYTH: Food waste and hunger are different problems with different solutions.

FACT: By reducing food waste in America, we can also help reduce hunger. Seventy-two billion pounds of good food goes to waste each year in America, while at the same time, 41 million people struggle with hunger. Feeding America works with food companies, farmers and other generous partners to rescue more than 3 billion pounds of food each year and help deliver it to families in need. We believe that rescuing food from going to waste is critical to solving the hunger problem in our country.


MYTH: I can’t do much to help overcome challenges like hunger and food waste.

FACT: Individual actions add up to make a significant impact. There are many ways you can help fight hunger.

  • Contribute to MCCM Food Bank:



Hunger in America

Facts about poverty and hunger in America1

Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2016:

  • 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat.
  • A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.
  • Households with children were more likely to be food insecure than those without children
  • 59% of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the major federal food assistance program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (often called WIC)


MCCM Unsung Heroes

What do Sandy Webb, Glen Boren, Steve Bennett, Raymond Graham, Johnny Grimes, and Derrald Beck have in common?

They are the seldom-seen volunteers, who do the majority of their hard work on days when the food bank is closed. They drive the truck to pickup food orders at various grocery stores, pickup very large donations from corporate food drives or from stores such as Walmart who donate most every week nearly a ton of food surplus they unload the trucks, and they sort food drives looking for expired items and homemade canned food1.

Stock Room
Fig 1. – Food Bank Stocked Shelves

The most important task this group of unsung heroes does is to restock the shelves. This task involves much more than merely putting cans and boxes on the shelves. They rotate the stock so that the first items in are also the first items out. This prevents us from inadvertently putting an expired item in the boxes .

A second very important task involves maintaining an inventory of the individual items as they stock the shelves in order to ensure as much as possible that, when we are open, there will be enough of each item.

Third, they ensure that the tables in the client area and in the workroom have sufficient filled boxes to meet the initial demand when we open for to assist our neighbors.

Many thanks to our stock crew for all your hard work.
The stock crew/warehouse crew/inventory management crew has one major request of our volunteers:


1Good Food-Handling Practices will not allow us to stock canned-at-home items.

Sandy Webb Honored

MCCM’s Sandy Webb, who manages and directs the MCCM food inventory was recently honored by WDEF News 12 and Integrity Chevrolet, as the December 2017 Honoree of their “Do the Right Thing” feature. Each month, WDEF and Integrity honor someone in the Chattanooga Area” that always goes above and beyond, who always does the right thing”.

Sandy Honored

Sandy Webb and Glen Boren, who largely operate behind the scenes, pickup food from food drives anywhere in the county and food orders from local grocery stores. They unload the trucks, stock the shelves, and maintain the inventory.

Whenever MCCM has a special event Sandy will usually be found helping out as well.

Sandy is a Master Sergeant (Retired) in the U. S. Army. When she is not working hard for MCCM Sandy will be found volunteering for the VFW and the American Legion. In addition, she looks after her Mother-in-Law, “Nonie” Webb, whom she affectionately calls “Mom”.

Thank you Sandy for all you do for MCCM and the people of Marion County.

The video clip of the presentation of $500.00 can be seen on the WDEF website by clicking HERE and scrolling down to the bottom.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, our annual national celebration of Food and Football, and as you remember the things for which you are Thankful, please know how much we are thankful for this community of folks in Marion County who support this ministry through their generosity of time, talent and treasure, and we are thankful for our tireless Volunteers who make this ministry happen.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

SVEC Hunger Heroes

On Thursday, October 5, 2017, the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) spent the day at MCCM painting the interior and beautifying the exterior. This amazing group of Hunger Heroes, led by Vice-President Shelby Potterfield and CEO and President, Mike Partin arrived early in the morning armed with string trimmers, paint rollers, chainsaws, paint brushes, paint, cleaning supplies and the group of folks ready for a day of hard work.

SVEC, as part of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Day of Service, spent the day at food banks in Grundy and Sequatchie Counties. Later this month SVEC will send a team to Bledsoe County for a Day-of-Service there as well.

Why food banks? “We have a mission to improve everyday life in the communities we serve, and that mission goes far beyond simply keeping the lights on,” says Mike Partin, president/CEO of SVEC. “Our area food banks are an asset to our community, and we are proud to partner with them.”

All this and they keep the lights on too!

Mission Accomplished, Mike.










Thank you SVEC! We love you!

Back to School and Hungry Kids

As school begins approximately 1 in 6 kids in America face food insecurity.Hungry Kids in America

But, in Marion County, TN the number of hungry kids approaches 25%.

Hungry Kids in America

You can help!

Marion County Community Ministries is a 501 (c)(3) Corporation.

All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
Please check with your tax adviser.

Contributions may be mailed also to:

PO Box 681
Sequatchie, TN 37374-0681


Community Anti-Litter Grant

Thanks to Judy Blevins, one of our faithful volunteers, MCCM recently received a “Community Anti-Litter Grant” provided by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.

The proceeds of the grant are to be used to purchase a combination ashtray and trash receptacle to be placed at the entrance of the MCCM building.

George Jackson, our Treasurer, purchased the device and installed it in the proper location at the bottom of the entry ramp.

We need someone who will check on it periodically to empty the trash and, using the scoop provided, remove the cigarette butts from the ashtray.

Please let us know if you can take on this task by sending an email to


Volunteer Team Needed

Our facility in Sequatchie needs a regular, thorough cleaning.

Currently, as time permits, our fantastic volunteers, unasked, do a great job keeping the floors swept, the carpets vacuumed and the bathroom cleaned.

Most days that we are open to serve clients we are so busy that we simply do not have time to clean thoroughly.

We are in need of one or more volunteers to form and to chair a Building Maintenance Committee which will coordinate1 the regular2 deep cleaning of MCCM.

The actual cleaning of the facility can be done by:

  • Church youth groups
  • Sunday school classes
  • Various other church groups
  • Service Clubs
  • etc.

You are limited only by your imagination!

If you are interested in forming this vitally needed committee for MCCM, please click HERE or send an email to:

1 Finding and scheduling groups to do the actual cleaning.
2 To be defined by the coordinator.