Who are the Hungry in Worcester?   
For many years the people of St. John’s have been serving needy families and the homeless in Worcester through the St. John’s Food for the Poor Program.
Unfortunately, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the second largest city in New England, the need continues to grow. Today an increasing number of the city’s homeless, poor, and long-term unemployed, working poor and senior citizens with low monthly incomes are seeking help from St. John’s Food for the Poor Program at the St. Francis Xavier Center, 20 Temple St. in the heart of Worcester.
Unemployed and Long-term Unemployed
  • Laid off
  • Lack of part-time job due to age, over-qualified
  • Sole wage earner in family with children
  • Lack of education
  • Company closed down, moved out of the city/state
  • Inability to use new technology
  • Language barriers
  • Monthly unemployment checks run out
  • Unable to type and or use internet

  • Lack of health insurance
  • Unable to meet health insurance premiums
  • Unable to meet mortgage or rent payments
  • Forced into bankruptcy
  • Increased risk of illness and disease in family
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Fear and shame in not being able to care for family as they are accustomed to
  • Low desire to learn new technology because of lack of education

Working Poor
  • Part-time work only available
  • Lack of education
  • Earn low wages
  • Transportation barriers
  • Child care barriers
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Disabled veterans

  • Lack of stamina to work
  • Increased susceptibility to illness
  • Missed hours of work time
  • Frustration and hopelessness
  • Lost sense of responsibility
  • Have a hard time making ends meet because of the cost of living
  • Children are most affected because they do not have enough nutritional food
  • Hunger has no racial boundaries nor economic boundaries

Families With Children
  • Highest percentage of population in poverty
  • Children unable to care for themselves
  • Children have limited voices
  • Children's needs are easily dismissed and overlooked
  • Children are unable to access feeding programs and services

  • Children experience impaired cognition leading to school failure
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Children have reduced ability to use or learn proper social skills
  • Hungry children have behavioral problems

  • Don't have enough income to afford nutritious food
  • Difficulty surviving on small fixed incomes
  • Not able to find part-time jobs to supplement income
  • Difficulty in paying for needed medications
  • Lack of necessary medications makes eating unpleasant or difficult
  • Increased hospitalization
  • Seniors living alone have difficulty meeting expenses

  • Increased number of hungry seniors
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Increased risk of illness and disease
  • Increased visits to doctors and higher cost of medicine which they can't afford
  • Seriously affects seniors living alone with no advocate
  • Premature death

The Homeless
Only one-third of the homeless population - men, women and children - receiving emergency food assistance can be categorized in the following circumstance:
  • Living in cards
  • Under bridges
  • Vacant lots/buildings
  • In the woods
  • Emergency shelters
  • Closing of institutions designed to care for disabled/children or victims of domestic violence
  • Unemployment
  • Alcohol/substance abuse
  • Mentally disabled

  • Hunger
  • Increased risk of diseases
  • Hopelessness
  • Fear and/or depression
  • Destructive choices
  • Lost sense of responsibility

  • Discriminatory barriers
  • Typically paid low wages
  • Language barriers
  • Barriers to educational opportunities
  • Employment opportunities in today's hi-tech economy are very difficult
  • Older men and women have difficulty finding part-time jobs

  • Depression
  • Uninsured and lack of medications
  • Alienation
  • Continued barriers to achievement
  • Feelings of fear and sense of responsibility and pride
  • Destructive choices

  • Mentally, Emotionally, Socially, or Physically
  • Cuts in funding to care for individuals
  • Inability to feed themselves
  • Lack of desire to eat
  • Limited employment
  • Depression
  • Increased susceptibility to illness
  • Missed hours of work time
  • Frustration and hopelessness
  • Lost sense of responsibility and pride

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