December 22, 2015
The holidays are a time for celebrations, gift giving, get-togethers with families and friends, and making our New Year’s resolutions for 2016. But for the 48 million Americans—including 15 million children—who struggle with hunger year-round, the holidays can mean making the hard choice of feeding their families instead of buying gifts and making merry.
This holiday season Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, wants you to know TEN things about hunger in America:
- 1 in 7 Americans are food insecure, meaning that they lack consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food.
- Nearly 75 percent of all SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) help feed a child, senior, or someone one who is disabled.
- 1 in 5 households that receive SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) have no other household income of any kind.
- 5 million Americans will visit a food pantry, meal program or other charitable food services this week – as they do every week of the year.
- 69 percent of U.S. households report choosing between paying for utilities, like heating and electricity, or paying for food in the past year. 34 percent report making this choice every month.
- Many food insecure households reported using several coping strategies for getting enough food in the last year. For instance, more than half of households (56.1 percent) report eating food past the expiration date.
- While the holidays mean no school days for kids, it can also mean empty stomachs for many. Nearly all Feeding America client households with school-aged children (94 percent) receive free or reduced-price school lunch through the National School Lunch Program.
- Facing hunger during the holidays and throughout the year increases the risk of a multitude of diet-related health problems. 58 percent of Feeding America’s client households report that someone in their home has hypertension, 33 percent report that someone in their households has diabetes.
- But there is good news!: Nearly 2 million volunteers contribute more than 8.4 million hours of their time to help provide food through Feeding America network agency programs each and every month. That’s more than 100 million hours of donated labor across the Feeding America network over the course of a year.
- Every $1 donated to Feeding America helps us provide 11 meals to those at risk of hunger during the holidays and year-round. Find out how you can help by visiting feedingamerica.org.
Please contact one of our media representatives or call 800-771-2303
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.