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

September 25, 2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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: New report says 3.9 million Canadians struggle to afford food

Related Stories

New report says 3.9 million Canadians struggle to afford food

July 25, 2013
A new report by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that almost four million Canadians are struggling to put the food they need on the table because of food insecurity.

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

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.