5 facts about hunger in America

August 28, 2014

Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 member food banks, the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States. The Feeding America network of food banks provides food assistance to an estimated 46.5 million Americans in need each year, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.

The report “Hunger in America” is Feeding America’s series of quadrennial studies that provide comprehensive demographic profiles of people seeking food assistance through the charitable sector.

Here are 5 facts you should know from the latest report:

1. Among all Feeding America network clients, 43 percent identify as white, 26 percent as African American, and 20 percent as Latino. More than one in four African Americans and one in six Latinos in the U.S. is served by the Feeding America network, compared to one in ten white non-Hispanics.

2. An overwhelming majority of client households report subsisting on minimal income. The median monthly household income among all households is $927, while the median annual household income is $9,175. A majority (72 percent) of client households are living in poverty with annual household incomes at or below the federal poverty level.

3. Approximately 620,000, or four percent of Feeding America client households contain a member who is currently serving full or part-time in the military, either in the Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard. An estimated 25 percent of households with a member currently serving in the U.S. military receive food assistance from the Feeding America network.

4. A majority of client households report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities (69 percent), transportation (67 percent), medical care (66 percent), or housing (57 percent) at some point during the year. Among households making these spending tradeoffs, typically one-third report doing so every month.

5. More than half of all client households (53 percent) receive help from family and friends as a strategy to get enough food. Furthermore, more than one in three households (35 percent) reports selling personal property in order to obtain enough food for their household. While growing food in a home or community garden is the least common coping strategy among Feeding America network clients, it remains a strategy employed by more than one in five households (23 percent).

Other Articles in the 5 Facts Series:

Suicide in America • Christian Persecution •  Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Supreme Court’s contraceptive mandate decision • Fathers and Fathers Day • Euthanasia in Europe • Marriage in America • March for Life • Abortion in America • ‘War on Poverty’