The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is working to alleviate hunger within our community and provide access to nutritious food for low-income individuals and families.
Here are some eye-opening facts about the prevalence of hunger in the United States.
Food InsecurityBased on the 2011 findings of the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 12% of the population in the state of Virginia is food insecure. It is a myth to think that people who need food are chronically poor. More likely, the person is unemployed, underemployed, suffering from poor health, or enduring the loss of a spouse.
Suburban PovertyThe poverty rate for people living in suburban areas was 16.6 percent (7.9 million people) in 2009. In 2010, the prevalence of household food insecurity in suburban areas was 12.6 percent (6.2 million households), and the prevalence of very low food security was 4.6 percent (2.3 million households).
Going to Bed HungryApproximately 925 million people in the world do not eat enough to be healthy. That means that one in every seven people on Earth goes to bed hungry each night.
Emergency FoodIn 2010, 4.8 percent of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
Supplemental Nutritional Assistance ProgramIn January 2012, approximately 11.4% (or 911,412 people) of Virginians participated in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamp program). This is an 8.2% increase over the prior year.
Average SNAP BenefitApproximately 33.7 million people in America participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- a program that provides monthly benefits to poor households to purchase approved food items from authorized food stores. According to the USDA, the average benefit per person was $124 per month and the Federal government spent over $53.6 billion on the program in 2009.
Across County LinesFood insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent to a high of 38 percent. Prince William County is 8.4% or 30,330 food insecure people, Fauquier County is 8.0% or 5,310 food insecure people.
Household StatisticsIn 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
Increase in Grocery CostsIncreases in the price of groceries have led the poor to adopt a variety of survival strategies, from buying food that is beyond its expiration date to visiting food banks.
More Than the Population of TexasAmerica’s Second Harvest, the nation’s major food bank network, annually provides food to over 23 million people. That is more than the population of the state of Texas.
Food WasteThe USDA recently found that about 96 billion pounds of food available for human consumption in the United States were thrown away by retailers, restaurants, farmers and households over the course of one year. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fluid milk, grain products, and sweeteners accounted for 2/3 of these losses.
Hungry AdultsHungry adults miss more work and consume more health care than those who don’t go hungry.
Hungry ChildrenChildren who experience hunger are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other illness.
The Cost of HungerThe total cost of hunger to American society is said to be about $90 billion a year. In contrast, it would only cost about $10 billion to $12 billion a year to virtually end hunger in our nation.
Sources and Resources:
- Feeding America – Hunger in Virginia
- Federation of Virginia Food Banks
- FAO News Release, 2012; United States Department of Agriculture; Bread for the World;
- Feeding America, Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, M., Carlson, S. United States Department of Agriculture / Economic Research Service.
- Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. September 2011.
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization, in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.