Six Things You Didn’t Know About Hunger

Hunger is a devastating problem affecting families across America, as well as Jewish families right here in Greater Boston. That’s why we’re teaming up with JF&CS Family Table to raise money to feed 30 families for six months.

But it can be hard to know who’s struggling, what struggling looks like and how this impacts the families in our community. To learn more, we sat down with Alison Kaufman, Director of Hunger and Nutrition at Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston (JF&CS).

  1. One in seven American households struggled with hunger in 2013.

If you think about this in terms of the number of homes in your neighborhood, it becomes more real. Hunger is hidden, and can feel shameful, so it isn’t always apparent which families are struggling. (Source)

  1. Hunger exists in the Jewish community.

JF&CS Family Table, New England’s largest kosher food pantry, served 530 families last year alone. This means many families in our community are struggling to put food on the table – and there may be more families that haven’t yet been served. But it also means there’s a way to  help these families.

  1. Healthy foods are unaffordable for people relying only on SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) to buy food.

Approximately one-third of monthly grocery costs remain unaffordable for a family of four. This calculation is based on the most-affordable food plan set forth by the U.S. government, called the Thrifty Food Plan. (Source)

  1. People who are not hungry spend approximately 30% more on food than people who are hungry (including food purchased with SNAP benefits).

This means that people who are struggling to pay for food do cut back on spending, and meal sizes, to fit food into their limited budgets. (Source)

  1. The food insecurity rate among households with children was almost one in five - or 19.5% - of households, which is higher than the national average.

This means the burden of hunger is disproportionately affecting children. (Source)

  1. Food insecurity includes more than not having enough food to eat.

People who are food insecure experience stress and worry that the food they buy will run out;; sometimes they cannot afford a balanced meal; and sometimes  they eat less than they feel they should. They report cutting back on the size of a meal or skipping a meal, and also report that even when they are hungry, they may not eat. Some people even lose weight or may not eat for an entire day. (Source)

Support our Jewish community by joining CJP and JF&CS’s crowdfunding campaign to feed 30 families in need. Learn more at


About Alison Kaufman

Alison Kaufman oversees JF&CS Family Table, New England’s largest kosher food pantry, and partnered with Project Bread to publish Home Cooking without a Kitchen, a cookbook for families living in hotels with limited cooking facilities. In 2015 she was honored as a Chai in the Hub winner for her outstanding contributions to the Jewish community.

CJP welcomes an open dialogue!  Please refer to our policy for more information.


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