50 facts about food insecurity in America

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every American, but some have fared worse than others. Many people have faced and continue to face the dilemma of how to put food on the table.

While it may be hard to believe, the overall share of the U.S. population experiencing food insecurity did not change between 2019, the year before the start of the pandemic, and 2020, one year into the pandemic. But when we take a closer look at the composition of the overall share of people, it’s clear that some of the most vulnerable populations—like children, the unemployed, and single-parent households—faced unprecedented hardship.

To understand how food access is affecting Americans both before and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stacker compiled a list of 50 food insecurity facts. Our information comes from the country’s largest anti-hunger organization, Feeding America, as well as No Kid Hungry, universities, scientific journals, Census Bureau data, and other sources. Throughout the piece, the phrase “food insecurity” is used distinctly from the term “hunger,” which, for these purposes, refers to the physical discomfort or state of being brought about from a lack of food, as per terminology from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

If you’re having trouble finding enough to eat, get in touch with a food pantry or soup kitchen in your community. These organizations can offer direct help with groceries, hot meals, and other essentials. Government programs such as SNAP and WIC can also help with financial support for purchasing food on your own.

And if you’re in the position to help others, consider making a financial donation to a local or national food bank. While many people often donate food or supplies, monetary contributions can make a bigger difference by going toward bulk purchases at substantial discounts.

Keep reading to better understand the current state of food insecurity in the United States.

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