Child Hunger in America

Learn more about child hunger in America

Hunger hurts everyone, but it is especially devastating in childhood because hunger deprives kids of more than just food.

On empty stomachs, kids don’t have the energy to focus, engage, learn and grow. Yet, this is the reality for 1 in 6 children in the U.S. who worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

What are the effects of child hunger in America?

100 meals needed

A food-insecure family of four is estimated to need the equivalent of nearly 100 additional meals a month because they lack enough money to buy food.

84% purchase cheap food

84% of households with at least one child served by the Feeding America network report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if it wasn’t the healthiest option to provide enough food for the household.

20% ineligible for federal assistance

20% of food-insecure children live in households that earn too much to qualify for most federal nutrition assistance—these families rely on charitable organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet.

Get more child hunger facts ›
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can thrive.
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What happens to a child facing hunger?

Studies show that proper nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is critical to a child’s physical and emotional development. Unfortunately food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation.

Children from families struggling with hunger may be more likely to:
Repeat a grade in elementary school
Experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills
Have more social and behavioral problems
Learn more about effects of hunger on childhood development ›

How Feeding America is working year-round to keep our children healthy

The Feeding America network is serving more than 12 million children across the nation. While most children receive food through traditional food pantries, the Feeding America network has a number of programs to help kids get food in other ways.

Reaching kids where they are and when they are most in need.
On Weekends
BackPack Program
After School
Kids Café
During Summers
Summer Food Service Programs
At Home
School Pantry Program
SNAP Application Assistance Program
You can help end child hunger.Give Now

You can help fight child hunger. Give now.

A child’s chance at a bright tomorrow starts with having enough good, healthy food today. With your support, the Feeding America network can help so many kids access the nutritious food they need to be healthy and grow strong.


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