Food Insecurity Overview: 15 million children; 12 million Latinos; 11 million Blacks
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported today that 14 percent of American households remain food insecure – meaning that 1 in 7 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough food for all their members.
Among the more than 48 million Americans (or 1 in 7 individuals) facing hunger are 15 million children. Three million households experiencing food insecurity include at least one senior*. The USDA collected the data in December 2014.
Additionally, there was a significant increase in very low food security among female-headed households with children, rising from 11 percent to 13 percent since last year’s USDA report. Very low food security is the severest level of food insecurity, indicating that the household’s food intake was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted due to lack of financial resources for food, which can be particularly devastating for families with children.
“Behind these numbers are the faces of millions of women, men and children – our neighbors who are struggling to find enough to eat,” said Matt Knott, President of Feeding America. “When it comes to food insecurity rates, we believe that any number is too high. This new data underscores that we need to maintain a strong federal and charitable safety net to get enough food to families in need, which means strengthening and protecting federal programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) that provide the critical first line of defense against hunger in America.”
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, the non-profit organization provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger.
“We urge Congress to maintain Washington’s long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting programs that help ensure struggling families have the nutrition they need and to pass a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization that invests in children and helps close the meal gap when kids are out of school,” said Knott.
*Senior is defined as age 65+.