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The Need

Hunger is a serious issue throughout the world, but it may surprise you that hunger impacts thousands of families right here in the United States – many in your own community. In fact, food insecurity exists in every county in America and nearly 6 million households in the U.S. have relied on food from local food pantries.

Fast Facts

FACT 1

89 percent of households with children served by the Feeding America network are food insecure.

FACT 2

Nationwide, 25 percent of military families – 620,000 households – need help putting food on the table.

FACT 3

79 percent of people who use food banks report buying inexpensive, unhealthy food to have enough to feed their families.


A Few More Quick Stats About Hunger In America.

  • 1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
  • The USDA defines “food insecurity” as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. In 2011, households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6% vs. 12.2%.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries.
  • 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
  • In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
  • More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.
  • Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast, and only 10% have access to summer meal sites.
  • For every 100 school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs.
  • 1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
  • 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.

*Sources:

Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2013.” USDA Economic Research Service, 2014. Web Accessed July 19, 2014.

Feeding America. “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011.” Feeding America, 2011. Web Accessed July 22, 2014.

Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2013.” USDA Economic Research Service, 2014. Web Accessed July 19, 2014.

Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2013.” USDA Economic Research Service, 2014. Web Accessed July 19, 2014.

International Food Policy Research Institute. “2012 Global Hunger Index.” IFPRI, 2012. Web Accessed July 22, 2014.

Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Nord, M., Andrews, M., Carlson, S. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2011.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2012. Web Accessed July 22, 2014.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. “FY2010 Program Data.” USDA, 2010. Web Accessed July 21, 2014.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. “Monthly Program Data for October 2011.” USDA, 2011. Web Accessed July 21, 2014.

Gunder, Dana. “Wasted Food: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.” National Resources Defense Council, 2012. Web Accessed July 22, 2014.

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