the need

Montana & Missoula | income,  hunger & isolation

ADULTS  |  Missoula county

  • 21% of adults are considered obese.
  • 15% are considered food insecure.
  • 17% of adults are considered inactive.
  • Missoula Food Bank clients report that 56% of their income goes to rent. Food quality is often sacrificed for other essentials, bearing grave health effects.
  • Obesity is linked to many serious health risks, including diabetes and heart disease. Less expensive, processed foods are high calorie and high sugar, with fewer nutritional benefits. The result: those in crisis eat less good food.

We connect people who otherwise wouldn’t cross paths and deepen those connections through the act of growing food together.  We believe that it’s not so much about food, but it’s about what happens when we grow food together.

– Josh Slotnick

Connectedness  |  Isolation

Part of being healthy is being socially connected. Loneliness, isolation and alienation are on the rise. A study comparing data for Americans in 1985 and again in 2004 showed that the mean number of people with whom Americans can discuss matters important to them dropped by 1/3. The study also reported that 25% or 1 in 4 Americans report that they have no one with whom they feel comfortable sharing a personal problem. (McPherson, Smith-Lovin 2004)

Dangers of low social connection include (Seppala 2015):

  • Worse for health than smoking, high blood pressure, or obesity
  • Higher inflammation on a cellular level
  • More susceptible to depression and anxiety
  • Slower recovery from disease
  • Increased antisocial behavior and violence
  • Increased rate of suicide
  • In 2004, 25% of Americans claim that they have no one to share a personal problem with, and loneliness is the main reason why people seek counseling

Some of the most alienated groups are seniors:

  • Over 15% of Missoula’s population is over the age of 65, and 7% of those seniors are below the poverty line (U.S. Census Bureau 2011)
  • Many seniors live alone or are socially isolated, often foregoing cooking nutritious meals, turning instead to convenient alternatives, usually less nutrient dense (Missoula Aging Services)