News & Updates

Hunger in Williamson County?

On the surface, it doesn’t make sense. How can people be hungry in the most affluent county in Tennessee? It’s hard to understand but the fact remains that hunger is everywhere.

Every year, Feeding America releases its Map the Meal Gap study data estimating overall food insecurity and child food insecurity in every county in the U.S. It shows that there is food insecurity in every county and that is typically worse for children then for the overall population.

Here’s one example from the richest county in the U.S.—Loudoun County, Virginia:

Barbara Diaz, a nanny, struggles to feed her family of eight.

While the median income in the county stands at $122,000 a year, Diaz, 55, makes about $21,600 a year as a nanny. With her salary, she has to feed her family and pay rent, car insurance and utilities. Often, she doesn’t have enough at the end of the month for food, so she turns regularly to her local food pantry for help.

The reality is that there are many areas of Williamson County where people of all walks of life struggle with hunger. Many families face situations such as a medical issue, low wages, or being a single parent that lead to food insecurities.

According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, 9.4% of our neighbors are dealing with food insecurities. For children under the age of 18, that number rises to 17.1%.

With the help of many generous donors and volunteers, GraceWorks has been fighting hunger in Williamson County since 1995. Last year, over $1 million in food was distributed to families in need.

GraceWorks helps those with food insecurities in the following ways:

Food Carts
Qualifying families can receive a shopping cart of perishable and non-perishable food monthly, allowing families to stretch their dollars and spend their resources on other basic needs.

Student Fuel Bags
Over 5000 students in Williamson County qualify for the free/reduced meal programs through the school systems. GraceWorks offers them bags of nutritional food for the weekend.

Mobile Food Pantries
Mobile Pantries provide another source of food to families and individuals facing hunger. GraceWorks uses mobile food pantries to provide access and increase food distribution so nutritious, non-perishable foods as well as perishable foods, such as milk, juice, bread and fresh produce, do not go to waste.

Nutritional Education
With healthy eating habit workshops and materials, neighbors receive help with feeding their families at lower costs and higher nutritional value.

With September being Hunger Action Month, we make an extra effort to remind everyone that hunger exists in Williamson County.

Visit here to see how you can help. From donating an item of need to holding a food drive, everyone can fight hunger.

If you, or anyone you know, is facing hunger issues, GraceWorks is here to help. Please visit here to find out how to qualify for assistance.

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