we are in a food desert…
Not only are we located in a "food desert," but we are also in a low-income/ high-poverty stricken community. We serve the disadvantaged of a disenfranchised and marginalized community.
We find in our community that most of the people are either unemployed or underemployed, and the food supply in homes usually runs out between pay periods or before the next Food Stamp benefit cycle is renewed.
This often leaves the children and the elderly as the most affected by this epidemic lack of food. Hunger has proven to be related to children’s lack of focus in school and children exhibiting behavioral issues. It also shows its ugly head in the deterioration of mental and physical health of the elderly.
Hunger is bigger than just the lack of food. The quality and quantity of food in the home play major roles in the hunger epidemic. There is no other emergency food pantry operating 50 hours per week in our community.
There is a high percent of homelessness in this community, and most shelters only have allowances for overnight stays. People staying in these shelters usually have to leave during the day, so there is a great demand for a day house, a safe place, and a resource center in this community for people in need. The Mercy House provides these services.