April 2, 2018

Hunger a Harsh Reality for 14 Million Children Nationwide

In the land of $5 lattes and restaurants to fuel every appetite, 14 million children are still going to bed — and to school — hungry.

These children, who represent 19% of all kids nationwide, live in a food insecure household, which means that their families lack the necessary resources to buy food for everyone in their home.

At the state level, the percentage of kids who experienced food insecurity in 2015 - the most recent full year for which data is available - varies. It is highest in Louisiana and New Mexico, where 28% of children live in food insecure homes. It is lowest in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Virginia, where just 14% of kids live in food insecure homes.

Children living in households that were food insecure

When children do not get enough to eat, their mental and physical health suffers. They see smaller gains academically, and they struggle to learn, concentrate and adapt to their surroundings.

Access more economic well-being data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center: