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My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan | Arts & Culture

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My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan
My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—An estimated 492,100 people rely on Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to fill their plates and feed their families.

That’s according to a newly-released study, titled “Hunger in American 2014.”  The study found 46 million people nationwide count on Feeding America food banks each year.  In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the need includes 58,200 seniors and at least 119,400 children.

“This study shows us that the face of hunger looks a lot like the one we see in the mirror,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Most of us are one or two catastrophic events away from being in the same position.”

The study shows in roughly one-third of client households, at least one adult had worked for pay in the last four weeks.  Additionally, 40 percent had some education beyond high school.

 “There’s a myth out there that those who seek assistance are lazy, that they are choosing not to work. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Estelle said.

The Hunger in America 2014 study was funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation. You can find the full national report on Feeding America West Michigan’s website.