Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (FANRR-2) 20 pp

September 1999

Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Hunger, by State, 1996-98

Although most households in the United States are food secure, during the period 1996-98 some 10 million U.S. households (9.7 percent of total) were food insecure--that is, they did not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. Included among these were 3.5 percent of households in which food insecurity was severe enough that one or more household members were hungry at least some time during the year due to inadequate resources for food. The prevalence of food insecurity and hunger varied considerably among the States. Eleven States, located in an arc along the western and southern borders of the country, and the District of Columbia, had rates of food insecurity significantly above the national average. By contrast, 20 States--most of them in the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast--had rates of food insecurity significantly below the national average. High-food-insecurity States generally had higher than average poverty rates and higher than average use of food stamps, but there were some notable exceptions.

Keywords: Food security, food insecurity, hunger

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