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Home / News / FACTS ABOUT POVERTY AND HUNGER IN AMERICA

FACTS ABOUT POVERTY AND HUNGER IN AMERICA

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Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children
and adults face poverty and hunger in every county
across America. In 2016:
• 41 million people struggle with hunger in the
United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4
million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat.
• A household that is food insecure has limited or
uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.
• Households with children were more likely to be
food insecure than those without children
• 59% of food-insecure households participated
in at least one of the major federal food assistance program
— the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); the National School
Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition
Program for Women, Infants and Children (often called
WIC)
• For people facing hunger, poverty is just one
issue
• 41 million Americans struggle with hunger, a
number nearly equal to the 40.6 million officially living
in poverty. Based on annual income, 72% of the households
the Feeding America network served in 2014
lived at or below the federal poverty level with a median
annual household income of $9,175.
• Though they often go hand in hand, poverty is
just one of several issues tied to hunger. Unemployment,
household assets and even demographics can also
make it difficult to access the nutritious food people need
to thrive.
• Hunger is a condition of food poverty, or a lack
of geographic and financial access to nutritious foods.
Many of the people served by Feeding America Food
Banks report they are struggling with unemployment, difficult
choices between purchasing food and other basic
necessities and the pressure of healthcare costs.
• Galveston County comprises of twelve cities,
one village, three designated areas and six unincorporated
areas, including four of which are located on Bolivar
Peninsula. With a population of 314,198, according to
the 2014 Census, 14.3 percent of the population lives in
poverty and 24.7 percent of those residents are under 18.
• During these times of economic uncertainty, hunger and the threat
of hunger is growing in Galveston County. What has been and continues
to be one of the greatest challenges facing economically disadvantaged
people is accessing and purchasing healthy foods.  What has changed over the
past decade is the “face of hunger” or who is in need of food. • Feeding America
estimates that roughly 53,710 Galveston County residents are in need of
emergency food assistance in a single year. That is 1 in 5 of our neighbors
in Galveston County, compared to the national average of 1 in 6. In order to
serve this need, the Food Bank distributed approximately 6.7 million pounds
of food, which equates to 5.6 million meals throughout the year. Finding ways
of reducing food waste in our county will help bring food to the tables of those
most in need. Gleaning, soliciting, storing and distributing surplus, donated
food and related commodities to participating agencies involved in feeding the
needy is our primary focus.

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