Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Hunger Facts

Facts on Hunger, Food Assistance, Poverty and Income in Our Service Area 

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank provides food and non-food items to more than 800 programs in our six county service area, consisting of Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Richland Counties.

Food Insecurity 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies households as food insecure if they experience, at some times during the year, limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods.  A food insecure household does not have access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.  

  • One in six residents from our six county service area was food insecure in 2013 (17.5%).  That’s a total of 327,690 people.
  • More than one in five children from our service area lived in a food insecure household in 2013 (23.6%).  That’s more than 99,000 children.
  • Cuyahoga County had the highest number of food insecure residents in the state of Ohio in 2013, at approximately 241,400 individuals.  Cuyahoga County was also home to the largest number of food insecure children in the state of Ohio, at 66,870 children.

Want to see what hunger looks like in your area?  Click here to check out an interactive map of food insecurity throughout the United States and see how many meals went missing in your community in 2013.

Food Assistance
(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a federal nutrition assistance program that provides assistance to eligible, low-income households who need help supplementing their monthly food budget.  SNAP recipients are able to purchase nutritious food at grocery stores with the monthly benefits they receive.  Currently it is the largest federal program fighting hunger, with more than 45.5 million Americans enrolled in SNAP.

  • SNAP benefits lifted 82,000 Ohio households above the poverty line in 2013, according to the USDA.

Want to learn about more safety net programs that kept Americans out of poverty in 2014?  Click here to explore the Supplemental Poverty Measure and learn about federal programs that have a proven record of poverty alleviation.

  • In 2013 half of Ohio households receiving SNAP benefits (50.2%) contained children under 18.
  • The median income for an Ohio household receiving SNAP benefits in 2013 was $16,477, compared to $55,151 for a household not receiving SNAP benefits.

Want to learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?  Click here to read more about households that receive SNAP benefits across the United States or click here if you or someone you know is struggling to pay for food.

Poverty and Income

In 2014 the poverty threshold (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) for a family of three was $18,850 for one year.  

  • More than one in seven (15.8%) Ohioans lived in poverty in 2014.
  • Nearly one in five (19.3%) Cuyahoga County residents lived in poverty in 2014, an increase from 17.9% in 2010.
  • More than one in three (39.2%) Cleveland residents lived in poverty in 2014, an increase from 34% in 2010.

Want to learn more about poverty and income in your area?  Click here to explore poverty, income, and general population statistics for your community.

  • In order to afford the 2014 Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Ohio ($720) without spending more than 30% of gross income on housing costs, a worker earning minimum wage must work 70 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.  This is the equivalent of 1.7 minimum wage jobs.

Child Poverty

Nationally, more than one in five (21.1%) children were living in poverty.

  • Child poverty remained high in Cleveland in 2014, with 58.5% of children living in poverty.  This number has increased since 2010, when it was more than half of children (52.6%). 
  • In 2014 more than one in four Cuyahoga County children lived in poverty (29.7%), while half of children lived below 200% of poverty (49.9%).

Want to learn more about child poverty and well-being in Ohio?  Click here to explore child well-being indicators in Ohio or click here to learn how the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is working to alleviate child hunger in our community.