New study shows hunger rising in Virginia

Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Between October 2021 and 2022, nationwide hunger has increased by 30% according to Hunger Free America, and that number is even higher in Virginia.

More than 434,000 Virginians not having enough food in one week.

“Hunger Free America study of federal data found there was a 54% increase in the number of Virginians who didn’t have enough food this year compared to last year over just one-week period,” Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg said.

Hunger Free America is a nationwide advocacy and nonprofit group.

“There are now over 600,000 people in the Commonwealth of Virginia who don’t always have enough food. About 1-in-10 kids in Virginia sometimes go hungry,” Berg said. “Not only does child hunger hurt us morally, not only does it harm child health, it really kills educational performance.”

Berg says hundreds of thousands of working people and older Virginians don’t always have enough food.

“You can apply for SNAP - what used to be called the Food Stamp Program - connect you with WIC if you’re a pregnant,” Berg said. “If it’s the summer, we’ll connect kids with summer meals.”

He says, as of January 1, the minimum wage will be $12, giving full time workers a salary of $21,000.

“If you’re paying that much in rent, and you’re making so little in wages, no wonder so many people don’t have money left over for food, health care, childcare, transportation to get to work. Hunger in Virginia and America is not a food availability problem. It’s a food affordability problem,” Berg said.

If anyone needs food assistance, they can call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3–HUNGRY.

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