41 Million People in the United States Face Hunger

Food Insecurity Levels Still Higher Than Pre-Recession Levels

September 6, 2017

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported today that 12.3 percent of American households remain food insecure – meaning that 1 in 8 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough food for all their members. Although figures have improved since the peak of food insecurity in 2011 following the Great Recession, the numbers of people experiencing food insecurity have not reached pre-recession lows.

The report released today, Household Food Security in the United States in 2016, is published by USDA’s Economic Research Service and reports on data collected in December 2016. The report also presents statistics on how much households spent on food, and the extent to which food-insecure households participated in federal and community food assistance programs for 2016.

According to USDA, more than 41 million Americans face hunger, including nearly 13 million children. Some of the groups experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity include households with children led by single women and people living below the poverty level. In addition, about a quarter of food-insecure households report incomes that make them ineligible for any form of federal food assistance.

“Even though the economy is slowly recovering from the recession, this report should be a siren to stakeholders that there is still much work to be done,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “Hunger in America is an extensive problem, but not one without a solution. We need policymakers, food banks, corporations, farmers and funders to work together to strengthen federal nutrition programs, reduce wasted food, and increase access to nutritious food so that all of members of our communities get the nourishment they need.”

To see the full report, visit https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=84972.


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.