This summer Daniel Tripp interned at Grace.  A significant part of his internship was to examine the problem of hunger in McDowell County and North Carolina.  Food insecurity is the most broadly-used measure of food deprivation in the United States. The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”

So let’s talk about food insecurity in North Carolina…and McDowell County.  This is what Daniel discovered.

  • North Carolina ranks 7th in the country in the national food insecurity rate
  • North Carolina and Louisiana lead the nation with the highest percentage of children under 5 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis:  1 in 4.
  • Approximately 170,200 different people in NC receive emergency food assistance in any given week.

This is equivalent to the entire current undergraduate enrollment of all 16 colleges and universities that make up the overall University of North Carolina system.

  • McDowell County is the 8th worst county in NC in food insecurity
  • 8,120 people in McDowell County are food insecure
  • Senior adults are also among the most vulnerable…

In the United States, there has been a 32% increase in the number of food insecure older adults since 2007 and a 79% increase since 2001.

We can quote stats until we are blue in the face.

Some of these people live beside you.

A grandmother of two in your neighborhood most likely chose between food and medicine this week.

A 3-year-old girl who loves dolls, lollipops and hugs cried herself to sleep in hunger last night.

A fourth-grader walked into the cafeteria today…and ate the only food he had eaten since he was in that cafeteria yesterday.

Hunger is real.  And it’s real close.

Here’s what we’re doing at Grace.  We’re putting together a task force to figure out what we’re gonna do.  Lunch Bunch is great…but not enough.  Our food pantry is invaluable…but isn’t designed to address the source of the problem.

If you want to serve on this working task force (and it will be work), please email

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

He has told us what to do.

It’s time to do it.