Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

September 19, 2018
Food Insecurity Rates Continue Downward Trend, but Remain Higher than Pre-Recession Levels. Photo: Joseph Molieri / Bread for the World

Food Insecurity Rates Continue Downward Trend, but Remain Higher than Pre-Recession Levels

In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal. While the number of food insecure households is still too high, it has been declining since the post-recession high of 14.9 percent in 2011.

Unfortunately, the overall food insecurity rate has not recovered to pre-recession levels. In 2007, 11.1 percent of U.S. households experienced food insecurity, compared to 11.8 percent in 2017. At the rate of decrease we saw this year, the United States would not end hunger until 2040.

All the nations of the world have agreed on development goals for 2030, including the goal of ending hunger. To end hunger by 2030, our country needs to see the same decreases it saw from 2014 to 2015, when the rate of food insecurity declined at a statistically significant rate of 1.3 percent. Ending hunger by 2030 will require strong political commitment and a comprehensive approach to address hunger’s root causes and accelerate progress.

more than 1 in 6 children in the United States live at risk of hunger

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

For Advocacy


African at Heart

November 22, 2019


From the Blog