Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Unemployment rather than poverty is a strong predictor of food insecurity. Michigan’s unemployment rate is 4.%. The national average rate of unemployment is 3.6% (as of February 2020)

World Hunger Facts

  • Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.
  • The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 percent of the population is undernourished.
  • Asia is the continent with the most hungry people – two thirds of the total. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years but in western Asia it has increased slightly. An estimated 60% of the world’s hungry are women or girls.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence(percentage of population) of hunger. One person in four there is undernourished.
  • Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
  • One out of six children — roughly 100 million — in developing countries is underweight.
  • One in four of the world’s children are stunted. In developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three. Of the children who are food insecure/hungry globally: 2% suffer from stunting, 5.6% are overweight and 7.5% suffer from moderate to severe wasting.
  • If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
  • 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
  • 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report released September 2018, explores an ongoing rise in global hunger. Third year in a row, rates of undernourishment have increased worldwide, with an additional six million people falling into conditions of hunger over the course of a year, bringing the estimated total to 821 million people affected.
  • 2% of the world populations, or 1.3 billion people, have experienced food insecurity at moderate levels; meaning they do not have regular access to nutritious and sufficient food even if they are not necessarily suffering from hunger, they are at greater risk of various forms of malnutrition and poor health.
  • Poor nutrition causes 45% of all child deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children under five years of age die each year due to malnutrition.
  • Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

United States Hunger Facts

  • WFP calculates that US$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children.
  • 15 million – 1 in 10 – working adults in U.S. struggle against hunger. And, 17.4% (1 in 6) of all children in the U.S. live in food insecure households.
  • 41,002,022 people are food insecure and SNAP is a vital monthly supplement for them.
  • Nearly two-thirds of SNAP participants are children (44%), elderly (11%) and disabled nonelderly adults (10%).
  • 29,754,156 children rely on free or reduced-fee lunches for their nutritional needs on an average school day and 14.7 million children receive breakfast meals free or at a reduced price.
  • The average SNAP household has about 2 people, with a gross monthly income of $813 which is well below the strict national income limits. 
  • SNAP is a vital supplement to the monthly food budget of more than 47 million low-income individuals.
  • 16 million kids in America live in households without consistent access to adequate food.
  • 21 million children rely on free or reduced-fee lunches for their nutritional needs on an average school day and 10.1 out of 12.9 million children receive breakfast meals free or at a reduced price.
  • The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $126.32 for, or about $1.40 per person per meal.
  • 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by day 21 of the benefit period, meaning most SNAP benefits are not enough to last recipients all month.

Michigan Hunger Facts

  • In Michigan, 1,369,250 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 345,130 are children. 
  • 510,522 or 10.9% of employed adults earning a minimum wage of $9.25 live in food insecure households, and 341,297 or 15.9% of children live in food insecure households.
  • Nearly 300,000 school-aged children in southeast Michigan are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school lunch in public schools.
  • 1,375,000 Michigan residents, or 14% of the state population receives SNAP benefits.
  • 15% of the population lives below the poverty line with 20.2% of children and 8.1% of elderly living below the poverty line.
  • The average monthly food assistance offered in Michigan is $223 per household.
  • 50% of households served by food banks have at least one employed family member. They are considered the working poor meaning that they don’t make enough to make ends meet.
  • 4% of Michigan residents are food insecure, and 22.3% of all Michigan children.
  • More than 48% of school-aged children are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. To be eligible for reduced-priced lunches, kids must live at 185 percent of poverty, or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. To receive free lunches, kids must live at 130 percent of poverty, or about $31,000 for a family of four.
  • Out of the Michigan children who receive free or reduced-price school lunch, 42 percent live in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, or Wayne County.
  • 1 in 4 Michigan children (24%) live in poverty, with household incomes under $24,000 for a family of 4.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security

  • In 2014, 48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children.
  • In 2014, 14.0 percent of households (17.4 million households) were food insecure.
  • In 2013, 5.6 percent of households experienced very low food security.
  • Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (19.2 %), especially households with children headed by single women (35.3%) or single men (21.7%), Black, non-Hispanic households (26.1%) and Hispanic households (22.4%).
  • In 2014, 9.% of seniors living alone (1.2 million households) were food insecure.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America.

Israel and Hunger

  • The population of Israel is 8,798,000 (in 2017).
  • The number of households in Israel (in 2017) is 2,510,300, and the average household size is 3.32 persons.
  • The number of people living below the poverty line (in 2008) was 1,651,300, 23.7%
  • Hunger is on the rise in Israel. Throughout the country, increasing numbers of Israelis are relying on emergency food programs to meet their most basic nutritional needs.
  • According to the National Insurance Institute, approximately 783,600 children live below the national poverty line.
  • Over 20% of Israel’s elderly live below the national poverty line.

The Food Research and Action Center offers an interactive map that shows poverty by Congressional District. View the map.

View the list of sources for the information on this page.