Hunger in Alabama
One of the most disturbing and extraordinary aspects of life in this very wealthy country is the persistence of hunger. For 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that in 2010:
- Of the 48.8 million people living in food insecurity, 32.6 million are adults (14.2 percent of all adults) and 16.2 million are children (21.6 percent of all children).
- 16.1 million people lived in households that were considered to have “very low food security,” a USDA term (previously denominated “food insecure with hunger”) that means one or more people in the household were hungry over the course of the year because of the inability to afford enough food.
- Very low food security had been getting worse even before the recession. The number of people in this category in 2010 is nearly double the number in 2000.
- Black (25.1 percent) and Hispanic (26.2 percent) households experienced food insecurity at far higher rates than the national average.
- 19.2% of Alabama’s population is food insecure –that equates to 919,670 people (Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap)
- Current state unemployment rate is 7.4%
- Families’ struggle to afford necessities follows closely on their employment status and wages—and the most basic necessity is food. According to FRAC, Alabama has the 2nd highest food hardship rate in the nation (25.2% of the population)
- With relation to the SNAP program, the participation rate of eligible persons in Alabama is 65% (FRAC 2010 State of the States report)
Links to food insecurity information: