Chapter 6 presents data on food insecurity among Feeding America clients. Food insecurity is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that varies along a continuum of successive stages as it becomes more severe. It is conceptually defined as "access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life."
- Overall, 78.9% of the client households reported that, during the previous 12 months, they had been in a situation where the food they bought "just didn't last" and [they] did not have money to get more.
- Adults in 27.8% of the client households had to cut the size of meals or skip meals because there was not enough money for food almost every month of the previous 12 months.
- 6 million FA households contained adults who were hungry but, because they could not afford enough food, did not eat.
- 15.1% of the clients with children said that at least once during the previous 12 months, their children skipped meals because there was not enough money for food.
- Combined, a total of 75.5% of all client households of the emergency food programs were food insecure.
- Of households with children under 18, about 4.4 million are food insecure, of which 1.9 million have very low food security.
- The comparable numbers of households with a senior member age 65 or older are nearly 1.6 million and 0.5 million.
- 40.4% of the client households receiving SNAP benefits had low food security and another 38.5% had very low food security.
- 49.5% of the noncitizen households have low food security, compared with 37.8% of the citizen households.
- Among food pantry client households, 49.2% had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel.
(Excerpted from Hunger in America 2010.)