Hunger in the Carolinas

What is Food Insecurity?

The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a family or can last a long time. Food insecurity is one way we measure how many people can’t afford food. More than 34 million people, including 9 million children, experience food insecurity in the United States [source].

Causes of Food Insecurity

Job loss, hour/wage reduction, poverty

Unplanned repairs to property

Unexpected medical situation
Chronic health conditions or lack healthcare access
Lack of affordable housing
Systemic racism and racial discrimination

Effects of Food Insecurity

Loss of productivity at work or school

Can cause serious health issues

Can exacerbate underlying or existing health conditions

People must choose between paying for food, housing, utilities, healthcare, and medicine

Creates instability for children and can impact their physical and mental growth

Hunger in Our Backyard

Though many of us may not realize the grave disparities that exist in our own communities, people struggle with hunger in every county and congressional district in North and South Carolina. They could be our neighbors, kids in our children’s classes – the possibilities go on. Every community in the country is home to families who struggle with food insecurity including rural and suburban communities. Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support.

Over 1.5M adults and 650k children are struggling with hunger throughout the Carolinas – this equates to:

1 in 7

people in the Carolinas struggle with hunger

1 in 5

children in the Carolinas struggle with hunger

Feeding the Carolinas is here to help.

We serve as a multi-state network of ten member Food Banks and over 3,800 food pantries and meal programs that provide food and services to people each year in all 146 counties of the Carolinas. Together, we are the nation’s only multi-state hunger-relief organization. Read more about what we do.