Hunger Initiatives

Stacks of empty bowls


We sponsor three programs here at CELTS to help address hunger in our community:

What Causes Hunger?

According to Bread for the World there are many reasons why hunger exists in our world.  Here are just a few listed on their website:

  • Not enough jobs.
  • Low wages; insufficient salaries to lift those affected out of poverty.
  • 23 percent of the world’s population possesses 85 percent of the world’s wealth.
  • Little to no access to education.
  • Unfair treatment of women.
  • Famine and disasters.
  • Unfair laws.
Infographics Picture

World and Domestic Hunger Statistics

  • “World hunger is on the rise: the estimated number of undernourished people increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.”1
  •  “In 2015, 87.3 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 12.7 percent (15.8 million households) were food insecure. Food-insecure households (those with low and very low food security) had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. The decline from 2014 (14.0 percent) was statistically significant.”2
  • “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—formerly the Food Stamp Program—accounted for 71 percent of all Federal food and nutrition assistance spending in fiscal 2015. An average 45.8 million persons per month participated in the program, or 2 percent fewer than the previous year. FY 2015 marked the second consecutive year that participation decreased, and only the third time in the last 15 years.” 3

Local Statistics

  • “New data released by the U.S Census Bureau reveal that 247,780 Kentucky children still live in poverty. The American Community Survey one-year estimates show 25 percent of Kentucky children lived in poverty in 2016, which was not a significant change from the 2015 estimate. This estimate reveals that the percent of Kentucky children living in poverty remains higher since the Great Recession began in 2008 (23.5 percent). The data places Kentucky with the 4th highest rates of child poverty and overall poverty among states.”4
  • In 2014, the number of Madison County children living in high poverty areas was 46%. In 2011-’12, 56 percent of children in Madison County school district qualified for free or reduced lunch and 59 percent of Berea Independent students qualified. 5


1 State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2012 FAO.  “Food Security Statistics”,

2 “Household Food Security in the United States in 2015”.

3 “Food Assistance Landscape.” USDA Food and Nutrition Service,