Facts About Hunger in Florida

January 26, 2012

With talk on the campaign trail in Florida touching on aspects of hunger and food assistance programs, please take at a look at the facts:

Florida Hunger Statistics

  • Total food insecurity rate (availability of food and one's access to it): 17 percent
  • Total number of food insecure people: 3.1 million
  • Total child food insecurity rate: 28 percent
  • Total number of children who are food insecure: 1.1 million
  • Florida County with largest number of food insecure people: Hendry County.
  • 23 percent total food insecure
  • 38 percent child food insecure
  • Florida's biggest counties (number, percentage of food insecure people)
    • Dade County: 432,990 people, 17.6 percent
    • Broward County: 281,480 people, 16 percent
    • Orange County: 180,470 people, 17 percent
    • Duval County: 154,800 people, 18 percent
    • Hillsborough, 200,590 people, 17.2

    Food Insecurity in the United States

    • Nearly 49 million people in the US are food insecure, about 1 in 6 Americans
    • 16 million children are food insecure, more than 1 in 5 children

    SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps)

    • SNAP provides over 46 million low-income participants, more than 2.6 million in Florida, with monthly benefits via a grocery debit card.
    • In FY 2012, the average SNAP household had a gross monthly income of $731 nationally, but only $608 in Florida.
    • The average length of time a participant stays on the program is 9 months.
    • In FY 2010, children and seniors accounted for more than half (55%) of SNAP participants in Florida.
    • The accuracy rate of 96.19 percent (FY2010) is now at an all-time program high and program error rates have declined 61 percent since FY 1999. This rate considerably higher than other major benefit programs, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (90%), Medicare fee-for-service (89.5%), Unemployment Insurance (88.8%), and Medicare Advantage Part C (85.9%).

    "Florida food banks have been distributing food at disaster levels over the last three years with increases of 80% in some areas of the state. The SNAP program has been instrumental in helping to keep our neighbors fed during this economic crisis," said Rebecca Brislain, Executive Director of the Florida Association of Food Banks.

    "Millions of Americans are unemployed and millions of others are working for reduced wages or working fewer hours. Many of these people never thought they would need a helping hand, but are now turning to programs like SNAP," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America."We know that the number of people coming to Feeding America food banks for assistance increased a staggering 46 percent in the last few years. Food stamps and other anti-hunger programs give hope to struggling Americans and protect them from deeper crisis as they work to get back on their feet."


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