Hunger Study

The Hunger in America study series is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive insight into charitable food distribution in the United States. Conducted quadrennially by Feeding America since 1993, the Hunger Studies provide statistically-valid data on our food distribution network and the people Feeding America serves. This, in turn, helps charitable feeding organizations develop programs that best support individuals facing hunger. The results also inform the public policy discourse so that federal nutrition programs can better serve those in need.

The next iteration of the Hunger in America study, Hunger in America 2014, has been released. This iteration of the study is the most comprehensive to date and includes a variety of features that were included for the very first time:

  • Data was collected from clients electronically, using a touchscreen tablet
  • The client survey was available in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, and Vietnamese
  • Clients were also asked about their health, veteran status, and any coping strategies they may use
  • The study was expanded to include all agencies and programs, not solely emergency feeding programs like pantries, shelters, and kitchens. This will give us additional insight into supplemental feeding programs, such as those for seniors and children.

The final results have been analyzed and summarized by Feeding America’s research vendors, Westat and the Urban Institute, data collection concluded in August 2013 and there are some exciting highlights to report:

  • More than 34,000 agencies provided information about their services and programs, including food distribution and non-food, referral, or outreach services.
  • In an effort to increase the accuracy and diversity of the findings, over 12,500 programs were visited to survey clients. This is more than twice as many programs as were visited in the previous study released in 2010.
  • More than 60,000 clients shared information about their story and circumstances.

To learn more about the results from the last Hunger in America study, released in 2010, click here.

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