Hunger runs deep in the communities working hardest to feed us

Many rural and farm communities — the very places where crops are grown to feed the world — face hunger. It seems impossible, but in lands of plenty, hunger pains can be the sharpest.

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Real Story of Hunger: Meet Donna

Donna lives on a farm in rural Maine. Despite working hard her whole life, she doesn’t have enough, and there have been times when she’s had to choose between paying the electric bill and buying food. Now thanks to her local food bank, she knows she won’t have to make that decision again. By providing meals to people in hard-to-reach areas, the Feeding America network of food banks is helping to preserve and improve the quality of rural life.

Watch Donna's story ›

Millions of rural children struggle with hunger

People who live in rural areas often face hunger at higher rates, in part because of the unique challenges living remotely presents. These challenges include an increased likelihood of food deserts with the nearest food pantry or food bank potentially hours away, job opportunities that are more concentrated in low-wage industries and higher rates of unemployment and underemployment. This can make hunger in rural areas a unique challenge:

  • 2.7 million rural households face hunger
  • Three-quarters of the counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are in rural areas
  • 86% of the counties with the highest rates of child food insecurity are rural

Children who face hunger are more likely to struggle in school and experience developmental setbacks. Kids who struggle to get enough to eat also face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma.

For more data and information, download our Rural Hunger Fact Sheet ›

Feeding our rural neighbors

Feeding America is committed to reaching everyone who faces hunger. Currently, 82% of the food banks in the Feeding America network operate a mobile pantry program, bringing food distribution sites to the hard-to-reach places that need it the most. These food banks are on the ground in every county in America helping millions of people each year. To maximize the amount of people we can serve, we need your help.

Give to Feeding America today

Give to Feeding America today — every dollar donated helps the Feeding America network of food banks secure and distribute 11 meals to people facing hunger — including our rural neighbors like Donna.

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