Making Ends Meet: Private Food Assistance and the Working Poor
P. M. Morris
Concern is growing that large segments of low-income Americans are slipping through, or are not adequately served by, the public food assistance safety net. Many of these individuals are turning to the private network of food pantries and soup kitchens for their nourishment. In particular, a significant percentage of individuals seeking private food assistance are the working poor. In this paper, we look at the characteristics of a sample of employed Virginia households who depend on soup kitchens or food pantries to help them make ends meet. Our data indicate that these individuals have demographic characteristics that do not bode well for their being able to earn high enough wages to all allow them to meet basic family needs without some type of additional supports.
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