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Child hunger in the United States

Becoming educated on child hunger in the United States is the first step towards finding a solution. The facts will surprise you. Hunger exists in every community and can affect families of any demographic. Use these resources to educate yourself and community members of all ages on where hunger strikes, how often, and what factors contribute to hunger. You can also find the food banks and action centers taking steps against hunger in your community so you can join in the fight. Together, we can do better.

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet for Kids

This resource presents information on child hunger so that kids can understand it, own it, and take compassionate action against it. Read over this fact sheet before talking to kids about child hunger or use it as a handout in your project or lesson plan.

Fact Sheet for Teens

Whether you are a teen or working with teens, this fact sheet gives you the basic info you need to begin taking action against child hunger. Read it to educate yourself, or distribute it to educate others.

Meal Math

To reach our one million meal goal, we will be adding up the amount of food you donate and money you raise. This Meal Math sheet shows how we convert dollars and pounds to meals. You’ll also find helpful information about how much food a community garden can yield.

Meal Math

Look this over before starting your project so you know how to measure your success and report back.

Faces of Hunger

Rykeem

Rykeem is seven. When he doesn't get enough to eat, he can’t concentrate in school. His parents work, but their incomes just aren't enough to provide for him and his three siblings all the time. "I just eat a little bit every day," he says. He receives a donation of food to help him get through the weekends and shares it with his family.

Gia

Gia's dad pours concrete. Her mom takes care of her brother. He is mentally and physically disabled. Sometimes a trip to the grocery store just isn't in the family’s budget. Thankfully, Gia’s school has a food bank. Gia says she wants to attend college because her parents didn't and she knows how hard it is for them to provide for her family.

Tracy & Pat

Tracy & Pat recently moved to get better jobs. Now Pat works full-time, but his pay check only covers their housing and health care bills. The family doesn’t receive food stamps. They rely on donations from the local food bank to keep their four kids fed over the weekend.

Map the Meal Gap

Food Bank Locator

Facts

Size of the Problem

  • In the U.S., more than 1 in 5 kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
  • Food insecurity affects families in every county of each state in the United States.
  • Three out of 5 teachers say they regularly see students come to class hungry.
  • There are almost 17 million kids in the United States experiencing hunger throughout the year. That’s more than the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Causes

  • Only 1 in 7 kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the school year also participate in summer meal programs.
  • Every day, 20 million children get free or reduced-price lunch at school to keep them from being hungry. But 10 million of them do not get breakfast in the same way, and may come to school hungry.
  • Rates of food insecurity are substantially higher than the national average among households with incomes near or below the Federal poverty line--15.7 million children in America(2010) live in poverty.
  • The unemployment rate is over 9% which makes it extremely difficult for America’s families to keep their children fed.
  • 76.5 percent of food-insecure households did not use a food pantry at all during 2010; 27% said there wasn’t a pantry in their community and 15% said they didn’t know whether one was available.

Sources: USDA, No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, Why Hunger