• The 37 million Americans served annually by Feeding America include nearly 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.
  • Each week, approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance from an agency served by a Feeding America member. This is a 27percent increase over numbers reported in Hunger in America 2006, which reported that 4.5 million people were served each week.
  • These numbers are based on surveys conducted at emergency feeding centers, such as soup kitchens and food pantries, but do not factor in many individuals also served at non-emergency locations, such as Kids Cafe programs and senior centers.

Client Households

  • 76 percent (11.5 million) of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal.  
  • 36 percent of these client households are experiencing food insecurity or hunger, meaning they are sometimes completely without a source of food.
  • 79 percent (11 million) of households with children served are also food insecure.
  • Of the 37 million people the Feeding America  network serves:
  • 79 percent of households have incomes below the federal poverty line.
  • The average monthly income for client households is $940.
  • 36 percent of households have one or more adults who is working.
  • 10 percent of client households are homeless.

Tough Choices

Many of the client households served by Feeding America food banks report that their household income is inadequate to cover their basic household expenses.

  • 46 percent of client households served report having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food.
  • 40 percent of client households said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food.
  • 34 percent of client households report having to choose between paying for medicine or medical care and food.
  • 35 percent of client households must choose between paying for transportation or food.

One in four adult clients(24 percent) does not have health insurance and nearly half of our adult clients report that they have unpaid medical or hospital bills.

Thirty percent of households report having at least one member of their household in poor health.

Role of Federal Government

  • 54.4percent of pantries, 33.5percent of kitchens, and 31.4percent of shelters receive food from TEFAP.
  • 41 percent of client households are receiving SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits, an increase of 64 percent over 2006.
  • 54 percent of client households with children ages 0 to 3 participate in the WIC program, compared to 51 percent in 2006.
  • Among households with children under the age of 18, 62 percent participate in the federal school lunch program and 54 percent participate in the school breakfast program.


  • Emergency food assistance programs identified in the survey include over 23,800 food pantries, 6,000 soup kitchens, and 3,700 emergency shelters.
  • 68 percent of pantries, 42 percent of soup kitchens, and 15 percent of emergency shelters rely solely on volunteers and have no paid staff.
  • 55 percent of all agencies in the network are are faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organizations; 24 percent are other types of nonprofit organizations.