The National Hunger Crisis

In the United States, a country abundant in resources and opportunities, the issue of hunger remains a stark reality for millions.

Food Insecurity is Growing

National hunger is a complex problem, often intertwined with issues of poverty, food deserts, and lack of access to healthy, nutritious food.
Currently, more than 38 million people in the United States are struggling with food insecurity. 
Similarly, in the US, more than 12 million children are experiencing food insecurity.

Feeding America recently announced that food insecurity is at a ten-year high.  

Food insecurity is not just about the absence of food, but the absence of the right kinds of food that can lead to a healthy and active life. At The Store, we see hunger not as an insurmountable challenge but as an opportunity to bring our community together, fostering a spirit of dignity, love, and hope.

Hunger in the US Knows No Boundaries

Hunger in the US knows no boundaries, affecting children, individuals, families, seniors, and veterans alike.

Children: Approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States lives in a household facing food insecurity, which means they do not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Families: Nearly 14 million American families were food insecure at some point during the year, struggling to provide enough food for all their members.

Seniors: Approximately 5.3 million seniors  face food insecurity, highlighting a significant challenge in ensuring older adults have access to nutritious food.

Veterans: Roughly 1.4 million veterans live in households that have experienced food insecurity, underscoring the need for targeted support for those who have served the country.

These statistics underscore the critical importance of The Store’s mission to combat food insecurity across all sectors of the population, providing dignity, hope, and nutritional support to those in need.

With millions facing food insecurity daily, the challenge is vast but not insurmountable. Join us in our mission to ensure everyone has access to nutritious food, because hunger doesn’t discriminate, and neither does hope. Together, we can make a difference.

Modeling National Best Practices

The Store is quickly becoming known for its innovative model of addressing hunger both locally and nationally.  The Store is leading the way in addressing hunger using research-based best practices that make a real impact in changing the narrative of food insecurity:

Choice-Based, Grocery Store Experience: At The Store, we’ve transformed the concept of food assistance by operating much like a traditional grocery store. This innovative approach allows customers to choose their own fresh produce and groceries, mirroring a regular shopping experience and effectively eliminating the stigma associated with food aid.

Focus on Fresh and Nutritious Offerings: A cornerstone of our model is the emphasis on fresh produce, healthy meats, dairy, and pantry staples. By offering a wide variety of nutritious options, we ensure our customers have the building blocks for a healthy diet, addressing not just hunger but nutritional well-being.

Eliminating Stigma of Food Insecurity: The Store’s environment is designed to feel like any other grocery store, thus removing the stigma associated with receiving food aid. Customers shop with dignity, selecting items that best meet their family’s tastes and dietary needs, fostering a sense of normalcy and self-respect.

Wrap-Around Services for Holistic Support: Beyond the grocery aisles, The Store works with its partners to offer an array of wrap-around services aimed at addressing the root causes of food insecurity. From nutrition education and cooking classes to financial literacy and job training, we provide comprehensive support to help our customers achieve long-term stability and well-being.

The Store’s commitment to addressing food insecurity extends beyond Middle Tennessee. The Store regularly meets with nonprofits and other community groups from across the globe to advise on the best practices above.  By sharing our model, successes, and challenges, The Store serves as a blueprint for other organizations seeking to implement a choice-based, dignified approach to food assistance.