Hunger a Harsh Reality for 14 Million Children Nationwide

Posted April 3, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In the U.S., 19% of kids experienced food insecurity.

In the land of $5 lattes and restau­rants to fuel every appetite, 14 mil­lion chil­dren are still going to bed — and to school — hungry.

These chil­dren, who rep­re­sent 19% of all kids nation­wide, live in a food inse­cure house­hold, which means that their fam­i­lies lack the nec­es­sary resources to buy food for every­one in their home.

At the state lev­el, the per­cent­age of kids who expe­ri­enced food inse­cu­ri­ty in 2015 — the most recent full year for which data is avail­able — varies. It is high­est in Louisiana and New Mex­i­co, where 28% of chil­dren live in food inse­cure homes. It is low­est in Col­orado, Illi­nois, Iowa, Mass­a­chu­setts, New Jer­sey, North Dako­ta, Utah, Ver­mont and Vir­ginia, where just 14% of kids live in food inse­cure homes.

Children living in households that were food insecure

When chil­dren do not get enough to eat, their men­tal and phys­i­cal health suf­fers. They see small­er gains aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly, and they strug­gle to learn, con­cen­trate and adapt to their surroundings.

Access more eco­nom­ic well-being data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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