FRAC Releases New Analysis of Gallup Data on Food Hardship in Households with and without Children through 2010, Including Rates for Every Congressional District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, 202-986-2200 x3018
Washington, D.C. – August 11, 2011 – Nearly one in four U.S. households with children struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families in 2010, according to a new report (pdf) released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The analysis separately examines food hardship rates – the inability to afford enough food – for households with children and without children nationally and in every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).
FRAC’s Food Hardship in America series analyzes data that were collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has interviewed more than one million households since January 2008. FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”
The analysis released today shows that food hardship rates are very high both for households with children and for households without children. Nationally in 2010 the food hardship rate for households without children was 14.9 percent, and it was 23.4 percent for families with children.
When examining state data just for households without children, every state (except for one) reports food hardship rates higher than 10 percent in 2009-2010 and five states report rates of 20 percent or higher.
But, not surprisingly, given relative national poverty and hunger rates, the situation for households with children is far worse. Among the findings of deep and widespread food hardship are the following:
“The data in this report show that food hardship – running out of money to buy the food that households need – is a substantial challenge in every corner of this country,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “These data demonstrate, as if any further evidence were needed, that this is not the time to make our safety net weaker. Congress must ensure that all deficit consideration protects federal nutrition programs – SNAP (food stamps) and child nutrition and senior nutrition programs – and other parts of the safety net that help low-income people.”
“These data merely underscore what every Member of Congress should know already -- that his or her district has tens of thousands of households struggling with hunger or food insecurity,” said Weill. “Weakening any of these key safety net programs will make hunger and malnutrition more common and deeper. It will increase fiscal deficits, further weaken the economy, and increase human suffering in the district.”
FRAC also noted that the data in this report show states, cities, counties and school districts have to do a much better job using federally-funded anti-hunger programs in order to reduce hunger. State participation rates and shortfalls in key programs can be found on FRAC’s website. Reaching more people with these programs would translate to less hunger, healthier children, more federal dollars flowing into the state, more economic growth, and more jobs.
The full report is available at www.frac.org (pdf).
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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the lead advocacy organization working to end hunger in America through stronger public policies. For more information, visit www.frac.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/ foodresearchandactioncenter or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/fractweets.