Today more than ever, many people receive food assistance. Every year, 1 in 7 Americans, or 46.5 million, turns to the Feeding America network for help.

While many are working hard to try and support their families, underemployment, stagnant wages, and the rising cost of living make their struggle even more difficult. More than half of these households report at least one person living in the home was working, but most likely only part-time. The median monthly income of these Americans is $927, which means they have to make choices like those listed on the graph to the right.

Source: Feeding America

For most, the need is brief and serves as a helping hand between jobs or in times of disaster or dire circumstances. For others, the need is ongoing. The face of hunger looks different than you might imagine.

In Indiana, there are over 888,000 people who sometimes have to go without food. Nearly 280,000 of those are children; 47% of the households receiving SNAP assistance in Indiana include children.

  • Had to choose between food and utilities. 69% 69%
  • Had to choose between food and transportation. 67% 67%
  • Had to choose between food and medical care. 66% 66%
  • Had to choose between food and housing. 57% 57%
  • Had to choose between food and education. 31% 31%

Million People Went Hungry in 2016

Million of Those Were Children


According to No Kid Hungry, in 2016 over 40 million people (almost 13% of all Americans) lived in poverty (the federal poverty level was $24,300 for a family of four). Of that number, 13 million were children. That translates into 1 out of 6 children who face hunger issues every day.

When children go hungry, the consequences go far beyond having an empty tummy. They’re more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma
  • Repeat a grade in elementary school
  • Experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills
  • Have more social and behavioral problems

Children who are hungry, especially young children, are often helpless to change their situation, so programs like SNAP, WIC, and school meals are especially important to help the adults in their lives make sure these children receive the nutritious food they need.

Learn more about child hunger at No Kid Hungry and Feeding America.


Despite an improving economy and financial markets, millions of seniors in the United States are going without enough food due to economic constraints. The State of Senior Hunger in America 2016, a report prepared for Feeding America and The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population age 60 and older in the U.S.

Overall, the rate and number of food-insecure seniors declined between 2014 and 2016 (the change from 2015 to 2016 was statistically insignificant). However, the current rate of food insecurity among seniors remains substantially above the rate in 2007 (6.3%), and the current number of seniors who are food-insecure is still more than double the number in 2001 (2.3 million).

Learn more about senior hunger

Million Seniors Were Food Insecure in 2016

Million Experienced Marginal Food Security