Learn about hunger statistics in America.

 

Poverty Statistics i

  • In 2009, 43.6 million people (14.3 percent) were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 8.8 (11.1% percent) million families were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 24.7 million (12.9 percent) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 15.5 million (20.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 3.4 million (8.9 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

 

Hunger Statistics on Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security ii

  • In 2009, 50.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33 million adults and 17.2 million children
  • In 2009, 14.7 percent of households (17.4 million households) were food insecure.
  • In 2009, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • In 2009, households with children reported food insecurity at almost double the rate for those without children, 21.3 percent compared to 11.4 percent.
  • In 2009, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (21.3 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.6 percent) or single men (27.8 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (24.9 percent) and Hispanic households (26.9 percent).
  • In 2009, 7.8 percent of seniors living alone (884,000 households) were food insecure.

 

Hunger Statistics on the use of Emergency Food Assistance and Federal Food Assistance Programs

  • In 2009, 4.8 percent of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times. ii
  • In 2009, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 15 times more likely than food-secure households to have obtained food from a food pantry. ii
  • In 2009, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 19 times more likely than food-secure households to have eaten a meal at an emergency kitchen.ii
  • In 2009, 57 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.ii Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 37 million low-income people annually, a 46 percent increase from 25 million since Hunger In America 2006 iii
  • Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to approximately 5.7 million different people per week. iii
  • Among members of Feeding America, 74 percent of pantries, 65 percent of kitchens, and 54 percent of shelters reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites. iii


 

Five states exhibited statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2007-2009:

  1. Arkansas 17.7%
  2. Mississippi 17.1%
  3. Georgia 15.6%
  4. Texas 17.4%
  5. North Carolina 14.8%

 

i U.S. Census Bureau.Carmen DeNavas-Walt, B. Proctor, C. Lee. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.

ii USDA.Mark Nord, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. Household Food Security in the United States, 2009.

iii Rhoda Cohen, J. Mabli, F. Potter, Z. Zhao.Hunger in America 2010.Feeding America. 

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