September is Hunger Action Month and communities across the country have spent the better part of this month working together to raise awareness about the issue in America. The USDA recently reported that 1 in 6 Americans lives in a household that is at risk of hunger. You know what that means? You may know someone in one of these households.
With that in mind, here are five facts that you should know about hunger…
- According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010.
- In 2010, over 48 million Americans lived in food insecure households.
- 30 percent of senior households served by Feeding America indicated that they have had to choose between food and medical care and 35 percent had to choose between food and paying for heat/utilities.
- Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Unemployment rather than poverty is a stronger predictor of food insecurity.
- In 2009, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, & Texas.
There are several ways to help raise awareness about the 1 in 6 Americans facing hunger:
- Like your local food bank and Feeding America on Facebook (S/O to the Greater Chicago Food Depository)
- Share a hunger fact with your friends
- Send a postcard to your local elected official and speak up for national nutrition programs
- Volunteer at your local food bank
To learn more about Hunger Action Month, please visit www.hungeractionmonth.org.