Study: More Than 178,000 Mainers Rely on Food Banks

Aug 19, 2014

More than 178,000 Mainers use food banks to help stay afloat, according to a new study.

The study, from the Feeding America Food Bank Network, found that nationwide, one in seven Americans relies on food pantries and meal service programs. That's more than 46 million people, including 12 million children.

Clara Whitney is with Good Shepherd Food Bank, which is part of Feeding America's network of food pantries. She says the study showed the network's Maine food banks getting an average of 11 visits per year from families — and that's significant.

"People are coming back, they're needing to come back to their local pantry month after month," Whitney says. "Our pantry network has become a huge part of how Maine families are accessing food on a monthly basis."

Whitney says about 15 percent of Mainers experience hunger, and that number's been steady or slightly increasing over the last few years.