Food insecurity exists in every state, city and community in the U.S. The statistics can seem almost unbelievable.
Source: Feeding America
Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security
•In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
•In 2011, 14.9 percent of households (17.9 million households) were food insecure.
•In 2011, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
•In 2011, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2percent.
•In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8 percent) or single men (24.9 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
•In 2011, 8.8 percent of seniors living alone (1 million households) were food insecure.
•Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent in Steele County, ND to a high of 37 percent in Holmes County, MS.
Seven states exhibited statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2009-2011:
United States 14.7%
North Carolina 17.1%
Use of Emergency Food Assistance and Federal Food Assistance Programs
•In 2011, 5.1 percent of all U.S. households (6.1 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
•In 2011, 57.2 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.
•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.
•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.