The population base for Johnson County is 600,000. Approximately 20% of the county's population can be characterized as low-income. This represents 120,000 residents that are potentially in need of services from Helping Hand.
This group can be broken down into three segments:
Children represent 45% of the county residents in need of Helping Hand services. The program has identified children and their families as it primary target customers. It is projected that the number of low-income children will increase in Johnson County by 20% over the next four years. By 2006, children will represent 52% of Helping Hand's client base. With effective intervention, the debilitation effects of hunger can be eliminated. Consequently, the families will be better able to be successfully providing for its children.
Helping Hand serves the Johnson County area with a total population in excess of 600,000 people. Over 50% of the county's population lives in Monroe. The remaining bulk of county's population resides in Lewisville, Drain, Fremont, and Lakespurs.
It is estimated that 20% of the county's residents are low-income. Of the county's 120,000 low income residents, 25% are seniors, 30% are individual adults, and 45% are children. Family groupings represent over 64% of low income residents in Johnson County. Over 90% of these families has at least one family member working full-time. This is why children and their families are the focus of the program.
One of the most typical profiles of families interested in this type of program can be described by the following:
Helping Hand has established that the most effective method to distribute food is through the network of existing social service programs and agencies serving the target population groups. There are 25 programs and agencies that provide services to low-income seniors, adults and children. On average, clients visit one or more of these programs or agencies on a weekly basis. In addition, these programs have an excellent volunteer base that can be mobilized to distribute food.
The primary target population group for Helping Hand is children (from birth to 16 years of age) and their families. This group has been identified as the fastest growing segment of the population that need food bank services. The impact of food assistance is most critical during the first five years of a child's life. Children ages birth to five years of age represents 50% of the children served by the program.