Janesville82.3°

Hunger in America survey being taken

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
March 19, 2009
— People seeking help at ECHO on Tuesday might have helped others.

Clients looking for food or emergency lodging were asked to take the 82-question Hunger in America survey.


The nationwide survey is taken every four years to measure how much food assistance available to low-income people, said Gina Wilson, director of agency relations at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.


The information will be used “by advocates, legislators and people who are trying to secure more funding for assistance for people who need help with food,’’ she said.


“We learn a good bit in the client interviews about what client circumstances are,’’ she said.


The information is kept confidential.


“We will not share information about you with anybody else, including this agency, and the information you give will not be used to determine your eligibility for benefits from any program,’’ according to a copy of the survey.


Agencies that belong to food banks are participating so they can report if they are seeing more or fewer people and information about the types of clients they are serving, Wilson said.


Surveys are being conducted February through April in Janesville at ECHO’s mobile pantry, ECHO’s traditional food pantry, the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen and in Beloit at Cornerstone Church of God pantry, the Salvation Army soup kitchen and pantry, Love for Children mobile pantry, Overflowing Cup’s soup kitchen and Emmanuel Baptist Church’s soup kitchen.


For the first time, all food banks in Wisconsin are participating, giving a complete picture of what’s happening in the state, Wilson said.


Findings will be released between November and December, she said, and will be used to raise awareness about the extent of hunger in communities.



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