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 940 programs in our six county service area, consisting of Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Richland Counties.
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 2015 (16.8%). That’s a total of 312,560 people.
- More than one in five children from our service area lived in a food insecure household in 2015 (21.1%). That’s more than 86,000 children.
- Cuyahoga County had the highest number of food insecure residents in the state of Ohio in 2015 at approximately 235,200 individuals. Cuyahoga County was also home to the largest number of food insecure children in the state of Ohio, at 58,370 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 2016.
(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 42 million Americans enrolled in SNAP.
- In 2016 304,579 residents in our service area received SNAP benefits. 240,020 of these recipients came from Cuyahoga County.
- 43% of Ohio households receiving SNAP benefits in 2015 contained children under 18.
- The average Ohio household receiving SNAP benefits lives at 61% of the poverty line, which amounted to $12,456 for a family of three.
- 32% of Ohio households receiving SNAP benefits in 2016 were working, with an average monthly income of $1,306.
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 2017 the poverty threshold (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) for a family of three was $20,420 for one year.
- More than one in six (14.6%) Ohioans lived in poverty in 2016. This is the lowest poverty rate Ohio has seen since 2008 (the first full year of the recession), when poverty was at 13.4%.
- Poverty remained high in Cuyahoga County, with 18.1% of residents falling below the poverty line in 2016.
- More than one in three (36.2%) Cleveland residents lived in poverty in 2015.
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 2017 Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Ohio ($780) without spending more than 30% of gross income on housing costs, a worker earning minimum wage must work 72 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. This is the equivalent of 1.8 minimum wage jobs.
Nationally, one in six (18%) children lived in poverty.
- Child poverty remained high in Cleveland in 2016, with 51% of children living in poverty. However, this was a significant decrease from its peak of 58.5% in 2014.
- Among the fifty largest U.S. cities, Cleveland ties with Detroit for the highest rate of child poverty.
- In 2016 more than one in four Cuyahoga County children lived in poverty (26%).
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.
- Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap 2015: Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level, by Gunderson, C., A. Crumbaugh, A. Dewey, M. Kato, & E. Engelhard, 2016. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/map-the-meal-gap/2014/map-the-meal-gap-2014-exec-summ.pdf
- U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015, by Bernadette Proctor, Jessica Semega, and Melissa Kollar, September 13, 2016. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.pdf
- U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey: 1-Year Estimates, September 15, 2016.
- National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2016: Ohio, May 2016. http://nlihc.org/oor/ohio