13.4 Percent of D.C. Households Struggling with Hunger
Contact: Sara McGovern, D.C. Hunger Solutions, email@example.com; 202-640-1089
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 3, 2014 – One in seven households in the District struggled with hunger, on average, over the years 2011-2013, according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service in its annual report on food insecurity.
Nationally, more than 17.5 million American (14.3 percent) households, with 49 million adults and children, struggled against hunger in 2013, a number statistically unchanged from the 2012 rate, but a slight dip from the 2011 rate of 14.9 percent.
This high and persistent level of hunger underscores the immense need to strengthen the food safety net by increasing SNAP benefit allotments and expanding child nutrition programs.
“It is unacceptable that so many people across the District are struggling and cannot afford enough food to provide for their families,” said Alexandra Ashbrook, Director of D.C. Hunger Solutions. “With one in seven D.C. households struggling against hunger, it is clear that the most vulnerable among us – seniors, people with disabilities, working and unemployed families, and children, depend on federal nutrition programs to keep food on the table. D.C. Hunger Solutions will continue working with city leaders to further utilize federal nutrition programs and expand access to healthy and affordable food in underserved communities.”
Among the 13.4 percent of households in D.C. considered to be food insecure during the 2011-2013 period, 5.2 percent were considered to have “very low food security.” People that fall into this USDA category had more severe problems, experiencing deeper hunger and cutting back or skipping meals on a more frequent basis for both adults and children.
Visit FRAC's website at www.frac.org for ongoing analysis.
About the USDA Report
Since 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture, using data from surveys conducted annually by the Census Bureau, has released national and state estimates of the number of people in households that are food insecure. Food insecure households are those that are not able to afford an adequate diet at all times in the past 12 months. For states, USDA uses three-year averages to give a better estimate (with a smaller margin of error) of the number of households experiencing food insecurity. Experts agree that the Census/USDA measure of food insecurity is a conservative one, with the result that only households experiencing substantial food insecurity are so classified.