Hunger in America

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and food insecurity soared. In 2022, 49 million people turned to food banks and community programs for help putting food on the table. 

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Hunger Facts



million people in the United States are food insecure


million children in the United States are food insecure


million people turned to food programs in 2022



of U.S. counties have food insecurity

Facts about hunger in America

  • According to the USDA, more than 34 million people, including 9 million children, in the United States are food insecure
  • The pandemic has increased food insecurity among families with children and communities of color, who already faced hunger at much higher rates before the pandemic.
  • Every community in the country is home to families who face hunger. But rural communities are especially hard hit by hunger.
  • Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and visit their local food banks and other food programs for extra support.
  • Hunger in African AmericanLatino, and  Native American communities is higher because of systemic racial injustice. To achieve a hunger-free America, we must address the root causes of hunger and structural and systemic inequities.

Who faces hunger in the United States?

Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. Millions of people in America are just one job loss, missed paycheck, or medical emergency away from hunger. But hunger doesn't affect everyone equally - some groups like children, seniors, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color face hunger much higher rates. Hunger also most often affects our neighbors who live in poverty.



Hunger is closer than you think

Children and adults face hunger in every community across the country. Your neighbor, child’s classmate or even coworker may be struggling to get enough to eat.

Explore our Map the Meal Gap interactive tool to learn more about hunger in your community ›
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Hunger threatens our nation's future

Many people facing hunger are forced to make tough choices between buying food and medical bills, food and rent and/or food and transportation. This struggle goes beyond harming an individual family’s future, it can harm us all.

What is food insecurity?


Food security is a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way we can measure the risk of hunger.