Rates of food insecurity among rural households is generally lower than urban households, but slightly higher than the national average. The irony is that many of these food-insecure households are in the very rural and farm communities whose productivity feeds the world and provides low-cost wholesome food for American consumers.
· Challenges facing rural areas differ from metro/urban areas in several significant ways[i]:
Employment is more concentrated in low-wage industries;
Unemployment and underemployment are greater;
Education levels are lower;
Work-support services, such as flexible and affordable child care and public transportation, are less available;
The rural marketplace offers less access to communication and transportation networks[ii]
Offers companies less access to activities that foster administration, research and development.
Rural Hunger Facts
· 15.4% of rural households are food insecure, an estimated 3 million households[iii].
· Compared to all regions, the South continues to have the highest poverty rate (under 100 percent of poverty) among people in families with related children under 18 years living in rural areas (25.3 percent)[iv].
· Among all people in female-headed families with related children under 18 years, 50.7 percent were poor in rural areas compared to 35 percent in the suburbs.[v]
[i] USDA. Economic Research Service. Leslie A. Whitener, R. Gibbs, and L. Kusmin. Rural Welfare Reform: Lessons Learned. Amber Waves. June 2003.
[ii] USDA. Economic Research Service. Robert Gibbs, L. Kusmin. Low-Skill Employment and the Changing Economy of Rural America. ERR-10. October 2005.
[iii] Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. (2012). Household Food Security in the United States in 2011. USDA ERS.