The need for emergency food: Poverty problems and policy responses

Katherine L. Clancy, Jean Bowering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Many factors account for the continuing need for emergency food by large numbers of low income households in the United States, and nutritionists could benefit from a fuller knowledge of these factors. This paper reports on a study of 267 clients using the emergency food system in New York State. Clients were surveyed primarily in food pantries in three regions of the state to identify their sources and amounts of income, expenditures for food and other necessities, and use of food programs. The median income was 77% of the poverty level, and median expenditures for housing and food were 52% and 24% of income, respectively. Food stamps, school meal programs and commodity foods were heavily used by respondents but senior meal programs were not. Background information and issues regarding the poverty level, housing, and food stamps are presented to assist nutritionists to more fully understand the causes of food insecurity and to become more involved in its amelioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12S-17S
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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