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Hunger & Food Insecurity
older and younger sister eating a summer meal

Too many children are hungry in America, going without the food they need.  Food insecurity is the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. 

The United States Department of Agriculture's latest report on Food Security in the United States found that 11.2 million children, or 1 in 7 children, lived in food insecure households in 2018.  

Kids who don’t have reliable access to food are much more likely to face unhealthy, unsuccessful and uncertain futures. Hunger and Food Security in America, authored by the research firm RTI, provides a comprehensive review of the persistent problem of hunger and food insecurity.  The report considers the common causes, the negative consequences and key programs that can alleviate hunger and food insecurity. 

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Rural Food Insecurity
children with meals

Food security rates are slightly greater in rural areas than in urban areas.

Broadly, food insecurity affects 1 in 7 children in the United States.  However, food security is slightly higher in rural areas than in urban areas: 16 percent in urban areas versus 13% in urban areas in 2017.    Rural communities are more likely to experience persistent poverty and have also been slower to recover from the Great Recession.   

Share Our Strength and Feeding America partnered with a team of researchers from six universities, led by North Carolina State University, on an in-depth qualitative study to explore what makes it easier or harder for families in rural areas to provide food for their kids. The study is the first to provide an in-depth exploration of the experiences of food insecurity in six rural counties across the United States.  This qualitative study involved more than 150 interviews with families in six states.    The Rural Food Insecurity Qualitative Research Brief has more information on the study design and findings.

Share Our Strength and Feeding America also published a joint report that broadly examines the overlooked crisis of children living with the threat of hunger in rural America.  The Child Hunger in Rural America report includes statistics on poverty gleaned from secondary sources, highlights from our qualitative research focused on interviews with rural families, and learnings from the 2019 Rural Child Hunger Summit.