One in Six U.S. Children Are Food Insecure

Eight Statistics that Put America’s Childhood Hunger Problem Into Perspective

The hunger epidemic―and specifically childhood hunger―is a global issue, and the United States is by no means immune. Many may be surprised to learn just how widespread childhood hunger is among the youngest and most vulnerable Americans, as it affects millions of children in the U.S., reports the Huffington Post.

Lack of access to food in general, but also nutritionally rich foods, can carry long-term impacts: Children who experience hunger as they grow up are at risk of impaired brain development and motor skills and often struggle in school. In order to shed light on childhood hunger in the U.S., here are some important statistics:

1 in 6: The number of children in the United States who don’t know when their next meal will be.

42.2 million: The number of Americans who lived in food-insecure homes in 2015. As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these households face “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally sufficient and safe foods, or the uncertain ability to acquire these foods in socially acceptable ways.”

13.1 million: The number of children who lived in food-insecure households in the U.S. in 2015.

20.8 percent: The percentage of households in Mississippi that were food-insecure in 2015, the highest proportion of all U.S. states that year.

8.5 percent: The percentage of households in North Dakota that were food-insecure in 2015, the lowest portion of all U.S. states that year.

70 billion pounds: The amount of food waste that is created in the U.S. every year―up to 40 percent of all food. This amounts to about $165 billion of wasted food.

25 million: The number of people who could be adequately fed by the amount of food thrown away annually in the U.S.

20 percent: The percentage of food-insecure children whose households earn too much to qualify for most of the federal nutrition-assistance programs. Instead, these families rely on charities and nonprofits to put enough food on the table.


Photo: dharder9475 Enjoying a brownie via photopin (license)