In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16 million children under the age of 18 currently live in a household with food insecurity. They do not always know where they will find their next meal, and are unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. Childhood hunger hampers a young person’s ability to learn and they become more likely to suffer from poverty as an adult.
Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children, and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days. It’s time to educate ourselves about the causes of hunger in America.
Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security
• In 2010, 49 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33 million adults and 16 million children.
• In 2010, 14.5 percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure.
• In 2010, 5.4 percent of households (6.4 million households) experienced very low food security.
• In 2010, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.2 percent compared to 11.7 percent.
• In 2009, 8.0 percent of seniors living alone (925,000 households) were food insecure.
• In 2010, 5.6 million households accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
• Among members of Feeding America, 74 percent of pantries, 65 percent of kitchens, and 54 percent of shelters reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites.
We believe that everyone should have access to the fundamental necessities of life. We distribute food to those in need, increasing their quality of life and strengthening their health and well-being. We strive to alleviate hunger on a national level through our ‘Art That Feeds’ Food Drives, which we host at concerts and music festivals around the United States. Since our inception in 2002, we have distributed well over one million meals to Feeding America affiliates and local food banks around the country. In 2011, we collected and redistributed 98,000 meals through our Food Drives alone.