Feeding Florida | Florida's Food Bank Network

Hunger & Food Access

Why are people hungry?

One "bad month" can be enough to plunge a household into missing meals. Lay-offs at work, unexpected car maintenance or an accident on the job can suddenly force a family to choose between buying food and paying bills. Working families across America face countless situations that can result in hunger.

That’s why many working families, including thousands of households who don’t qualify for federal nutrition assistance, depend on the Feeding America network of food banks to help make ends meet during difficult times. The Feeding America network serves nearly every community in the United States, helping more than 42 million people — including 13 million children and 7 million seniors.

See Real Stories of Hunger

What are the effects of hunger?

Lack of access to healthy food can have a wide impact, depending on each individual’s circumstances. Some of the most common, yet complex, effects of hunger include:

  • serious health complications, especially when people facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food and medicine or medical care
  • damage to a child’s ability to learn and grow
  • difficult decisions for seniors — often living on fixed incomes — such as choosing between paying for food and critical healthcare.

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How can we end hunger?

Part of what makes hunger so difficult to solve it is a symtom of a larger issue — poverty and lack of resources. Not having adequate access to healthy food simply adds more stress to a household that may already be wrestling with instability and unpredictability.

Feeding America is leading the fight to end hunger in America. In addition to feeding people who face hunger, we work to raise awareness about the issue, advocate for policies to protect people in need and conduct in-depth research to find solutions to hunger.

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Compromises and coping strategies

In Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap study from 2021, they estimated 2.2 million Floridians lack access to healthy food, and just over 660,000 are children. With 15.7% of Florida's children facing hunger, families make compromises. In Feeding America's 2018 Hunger in America study, the people we serve told us about the choices they face due to limited resources.

  • 73% of food-assisted households had to choose between food and their home utilities.
  • 69% of food bank assisted households had to choose between food and transportation.

Who goes hungry?

Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. Many Americans are one job loss or medical crisis away from food insecurity – but some people, including children and seniors, may be at greater risk of hunger than others. Get the facts.