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November is:

National Hunger and Hopelessness Awareness Month

Hunger and Food Insecurity

Published by the National Coalition for the Homeless, Nov. 2011


Fifty million Americans – one in five children - go to bed and awaken hungry. Across the United States, the number of families and individuals who are food insecure or living in constant fear of not being able to feed their families and themselves has remained constant or been growing for many years. The country’s crippling economic crisis is resulting in record high spikes in poverty, unemployment, hunger and homelessness.      


Trends in national food insecurity levels parallel national poverty levels, showing how food insecurity is inherently connected with income. This was shown to be especially true during the recent recession. The number of families that experience food insecurity has risen dramatically since the current economic crisis began in 2008.1 The principle causes of food insecurity in the United States are:2

  • Unemployment
  • High housing costs
  • Low wages and poverty
  • Lack of access to SNAP (food stamps)
  • Medical or health costs


In 2010, 14.5% (17.2 million) of households in the United States experienced food insecurity at one time.


  • Households with children have almost twice the rate of food insecurity as households without children.
  • 26.1% of Hispanic households and 25.2% of black households experience food insecurity, compared to 10.8% of white households experience food insecurity.
  • Almost 14% of households experiencing food insecurity consist of a married couple with children, but 35.1% of households consist of a single woman with children, and 25.4% of households with a single father and children experience food insecurity.3


National Family Caregivers Month