How Hungry is America?

A new study, “How Hungry is America?”, shows one in six American households — 17.2 percent — reported they didn’t have enough money to buy the food their families needed at times during 2014. The report by the Food Research and Action Council shows that while the economy is improving, tens of millions of people are still struggling to afford the basics.

The report looks at Gallup survey data on food hardship. This report reviews 2014 data for the nation, every state, and 100 of the country’s largest MSAs. Here are five things you should know.

  1. One in six American households (17.2 percent) said in 2014 that there had been times over the past 12 months that they didn’t have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed.
  2. What that means – the economy is improving, but tens of millions of people are still struggling to afford the basics.
  3. There’s not one state that is free from hunger. Even the “best” state on the report’s Food Hardship Index, North Dakota, has one in eleven households struggling to afford enough food. Nine states have more than one in five households struggling.
  4. Such high food hardship rates are unacceptable, yet some in Congress continue to propose huge cuts to proven and effective programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), school meals programs, and other supports.
  5. What you can do: Tell your Members of Congress that you want them to solve hunger by strengthening our nation’s safety net. Oppose efforts to cut nutrition programs. Watch for ELCA Advocacy Alerts related to supporting nutrition programs.


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