Food insecurity in the USA

For anybody interested in the topic of food insecurity in America, we want to present a great tool prepared by Feeding America. In cooperation with the Howard G. Buffett FoundationThe Nielsen Company and the ConAgra Foods Foundation, Feeding America created the Map the Meal Gap. It provides you with a very solid estimate of additional money needed for food insecure citizens to buy their own food.

Feeding America gives us a lot of interesting statistics. State by state you can check how many people are food insecure, as well as see what is the percentage of different income groups within that population who can’t afford food. Furthermore, you will be able to see what is the amount of needed money in each state and later in the whole country to address this issue.

The USA has almost 49 million people that live under the poverty line, which is 16.1% of the whole population of the country. In order for them to have a meal every day approx. $21.2 billion must be spent by the government. There is also a possibility to see what is the situation of food insecurity among children, the numbers are staggering. The map reveals that 21.6% (16.2 million) of all children in the USA are malnourished.

We strongly recommend you to read the Executive Summary. Of course, in addition to explaining the methodology of the study, it also gives interesting and detailed information, such as a breakdown of counties by socio-economic class and race.

Taking into account that one meal weighs around 1.25 lbs according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculations. Analyzing the data prepared by Feeding America, we can also create an estimate of how many meals are needed to feed the food insecure families and individuals in the USA.  According to the study one meal costs $2.52. That means that we need almost 8.5 billion meals in one year (2010) to feed all under-nourished citizens. It is an enormous number.

There is this phrase that probably everybody have heard: “Don’t waste it there are millions of children dying from hunger.” Well in most of cases we cannot do much about them, because we are so far away. However there is much to do locally. In every country, even in the most developed one, there are still people that are hungry every single day. Go out there and do something about it!


posted by Piotr Wielezynski

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