Who experiences very low food security?

Alt: A bar chart showing the prevalence of very low food security by household characteristics in 2015.

Each year a portion of American households are food insecure—they struggle to afford enough food for all household members. Very low food security, the severe range of food insecurity, affected 5 percent of U.S. households in 2015. Members of households with very low food security reported cutting back on or skipping meals, and in some cases, going a whole day without eating. The prevalence of very low food security varies considerably across household characteristics. Single mother and single father households, women and men living alone, Black non-Hispanic and Hispanic headed households, households with incomes near or below poverty, and households in nonmetropolitan counties have rates of very low food security significantly above the national average. Rates were highest for households with incomes below the Federal poverty line—about 17 percent were very low food secure in 2015. This chart is drawn from a chart that appears in the ERS infographic, “What Is Very Low Food Security and Who Experiences It?,” in the December 2016 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

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