Monday, August 8, 2016

Hunger touches every county in U.S.

USDA reports that more than 48 million people in America—including 15 million children—are food-insecure. On average, the food-insecurity rate among the nation’s 3,142 counties is 14.7% (even higher for children).

Food insecurity ranged from a high of 38% in Jefferson County, Mississippi to a low of 4% in Loudoun County, Virginia where median household income at nearly $124,000 per year. Currently, here in Connecticut 1 in 8 people struggle with food insecurity.

According to USDA 353 counties struggle with “persistent poverty,” where at least 20% of the population has been living in poverty for 30 years. There is a significant overlap between these counties and those that fall into the top 10% percent for food insecurity nationwide: of the latter, nearly two-thirds suffer from persistent-poverty. Moreover, hunger doesn’t necessarily stop once someone is above the SNAP income eligibility threshold--185% of the poverty level. In fact, more than a quarter of all food-insecure people live in such households. There are now 115 counties where the majority of food-insecure individuals are likely ineligible for most federal nutrition assistance programs based on their household income.

Source: Talk Poverty, 8/3/16, Widespread Hunger

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