One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects over 50 million Americans.
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, 21 million people lived in working-poor families. This translates into nearly 9.6 percent of all American families living below 100 percent of poverty have at least one family member working . In fact, 36 percent of client households served by the Feeding America network have one or more adults working. ii
Working Poor Facts
- Female-headed households were more than twice as likely to be among the working poor as male-headed households in 2008.
- Among families with at least one member working at least half a year, families with children were 4 times more likely than families without children to live in poverty in 2008.iii
- According to a survey on hunger and homelessness conducted by the United States Conference of Mayors, 88.5% of cities participating in the survey cited unemployment as one of three major causes of hunger in their city.
- Thirty-nine percent of all adults served by Feeding America have completed high school or equivalent degree with no further education beyond high school. ii
- 34 percent of all households served by Feeding America have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care. ii
- Sixty-five percent of working families that received SNAP were single-parent families.