The Impact of Coronavirus on Food Insecurity

Last updated: May 19, 2020

As closures and social distancing orders meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) extend across the country, the impact is being felt in communities large and small. While changes taking place are disrupting the lives of nearly everyone in some way, food-insecure individuals – who numbered over 37 million (11.5%), including over 11 million children, in 2018 – will face particular challenges, and the number of people who experience food insecurity is likely already increasing. 

Feeding America is using data to explore how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect food insecurity rates and the people who face hunger. As we complete our analyses, we will post them below, so check back often.  We have also created an interactive map that illustrates the projected impact of the pandemic on local food insecurity in 2020. 


National Reports

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity


Release: March 30, 2020; Revised: April 22, 2020

In this brief, we explore three scenarios, depicting increasing changes to unemployment and poverty rates (two strong drivers of food insecurity) and show how the number of people experiencing food insecurity could rise by 17.1 million. With widespread stay-at-home orders in place and unemployment rates rising as a result, we also explore food insecurity data by workforce industry and occupation. 




The Impact of the Coronavirus on Child Food Insecurity


Release: April 22, 2020

This brief explores the same three scenarios as the first, this time focusing on how the coronavirus could impact food insecurity among children.  In the wake of the pandemic, the number of children facing hunger may rise to 18 million, or 1 in 4 children overall.




Local Reports

The Impact of The Coronavirus on Local Food Insecurity


Release: May 19, 2020

This brief explores how the COVID-19 crisis could impact food insecurity at the local level: for states, counties, and congressional districts.





To request the Feeding America 2020 Local Food Insecurity Projections dataset, fill out our Data Request Form.

If you have any additional questions about the impact of the coronavirus on food insecurity, please contact us.