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Hunger in America

Published on: October 19, 2022.


1 out of 8 of all households with children

were food insecure in 2021

About the Data Insights

More than 34 million people in the United States were living in food insecure households in 2021, a decline from 38 million in 2020. The combination of the expanded child tax credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and private donations all contributed to reducing food insecurity during the pandemic. Still there is much more work to be done, with food costs spiking 11.4%, the largest annual increase since 1979, inflation factors could easily cause food insecurity to grow.

This infographic highlights the many challenges contributing to food security in the U.S. as well as steps to improve food access and strengthen food systems nationwide.


If you need food today

Your local food bank can help you find food today. Feeding America partners with food pantries, soup kitchens, and meal programs in many local communities to give away free food. Find your local food bank here


Citations
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Food security definition: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2021, ERR-309, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Servic, September 2022.

34 million: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2021, ERR-309, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Servic, September 2022.

53 million: Feeding America, Hunger in America, 2021

What does it mean to be food insecure in the United States?

What does it mean to be food insecure in the United States: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2021, ERR-309, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Servic, September 2022.

  • Pie Chart

  • Food insecurity

  • Indicators of food insecurity in 2021

Who is most affected by food insecurity?

Who is most affected by food insecurity: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2021, ERR-309, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2022.

  • All US households with children

  • Single female households with children

  • Single male households with children

  • Households with children under the age 6

  • Race/Ethnicity

  • Area of Residence

Native Americans: Feeding America, Hunger impacts Native American families and communities

Drop in food insecurity rates from 2020-2021: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2021, ERR-309, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2022.

  • 12.5% of U.S. households with children were food insecure

  • Down from 14.8% in 2020

The expanded child tax credit: CNN Politics, White House seeks to tackle food insecurity at first hunger conference since 1969, September 2022


What influences food security?

Nutrition security: Trust for America’s Health, State of Obesity 2022: Better Policies for a Healthier America, September 2022

What influences food security: Feeding America, Hunger and Food Insecurity

  • Having a chronic condition or disability

  • Lack of affordable housing

  • Poverty or unemployment

  • Lack of access to healthcare

  • Systemic racism & racial discrimination

Inflation impacting food security: CNN Business, Food prices are still soaring — here's what's getting more expensive, September 2022

What is the connection between food insecurity and health?


What is the connection between food insecurity and health: Gundersen, C., & Ziliak, J. P., Food insecurity and health outcomes. Health Affairs, 2015

  • Children's health

  • Adult's health

Obesity: Trust for America’s Health, State of Obesity 2022: Better Policies for a Healthier America, September 2022

What strategies can be implemented to mitigate food insecurity?

Food system transformations: FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2021. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021. Transforming food systems for food security, improved nutrition and affordable healthy diets for all. Rome, FAO., 2021

Improving access to food: The Center for American Progress, The United States Can End Hunger and Food Insecurity for Millions of People, August 2022

Equity lens: The Center for American Progress, The United States Can End Hunger and Food Insecurity for Millions of People, August 2022


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