Family Resiliency Center helps study how food-bank clients afford basic non-food items

September 25, 2013

Many families struggle to afford basic non-food household goods, such as personal care, household, and baby-care products, according to a new nationwide Feed America study that benefited from assistance from the University of Illinois Family Resiliency Center (FRC).

"The study found that these families often make trade-offs with other living expenses and employ coping strategies in an effort to secure such essential as , toothpaste, soap, or disposable diapers," said Barbara H. Fiese, FRC director and Pampered Chef Endowed Chair.

The study revealed that one in three low-income families had a hard time affording basic household necessities in the past year. Of these families, 82 percent live in households with low or very low food security, meaning they cannot afford enough food to feed their family, she added.

"What's more, nearly three in four low-income families have cut back on food in the past year in order to afford essential non-food items," she said.

The Family Resiliency Center contributed to the study by conducting in-depth interviews with food-bank clients about which are essential, strategies to obtain the products, and the consequences of going without the product.

The results of the FRC interviews were then used to design a larger, nationally representative as well as to help assess their clients' concerns regarding household product needs.

"Many of the projects conducted at FRC start with considering the real- of families who face daily challenges such as going without sufficient amounts of food," Fiese said.

"These interviews shed light on the often complicated decisions that families have to make in balancing the need to feed their children, purchase household supplies for healthy living, and pay for medical expenses. Clearly these are not easy decisions, and the choices can have serious consequences for multiple members of the household," she added.

Explore further: American food: Still the best deal in the world

Related Stories

American food: Still the best deal in the world

February 1, 2008

Although food prices rose 4.8% last year, eating nutritiously is still well within reach of the American family, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics. Analysis done by USDA's Center for ...

Families caught in the middle

May 2, 2010

When the high cost of health care forces families to forgo paying for basic household expenses, such as rent, utilities or food, children's health suffers, according to research to be presented Sunday, May 2 at the Pediatric ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.