In the United States in 2007:
- 37.3 million people (12.5%) were in poverty.
- 13.3 million children under the age of 18 (18%) were in poverty.
- 3.6 million seniors ages 65 and older (9.7%) were in poverty.
- 36.2 million Americans (23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children) lived in food-insecure households.
- 3.9 million of all U.S. households (3.4%) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
Source: Feeding America (feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-101/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx)
Make a Difference
According to Feeding America, more than 72 percent of the food banks surveyed at the end of 2008 were unable to adequately meet the demands of the hungry without limiting their operations or reducing the amount of food offered. Here's how you can help:
- Write a check. Make a contribution to your local food bank, Feeding America, or another organization that fights hunger.
- Volunteer. See the face of hunger for yourself. Most pantries have several tasks available, such as shopping, stocking shelves, sorting donations, or assisting clients.
- Donate food you would cook for your own family. Think healthy and simple. Avoid large, price club-sized cans or bags (most organizations can't split these into smaller portions). Reject the impulse to clean out your pantry.
- Let your local and state politicians know you care about hunger, and vote accordingly. For updates on political issues affecting hunger, visit FeedingAmerica.org and click the "Advocate" tab.
- Host a neighborhood, school, church, or youth-group food drive. Ask your local food pantry what types of food are needed. Include that information when you solicit donations.
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Learn more about domestic hunger through Feeding America, which bills itself as the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity.
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