Hunger in America 2014
Feeding America, the nation’s network of 200 food banks across the United States, conducted the largest and most comprehensive study of domestic hunger in 2013. The study collected data through more than 60,000 client surveys and 32,000 surveys completed by food banks and their partner agencies. Below is the data about how hunger affects Northeast Ohio.
Westat implemented the sampling and data analysis for the study, and a technical advisory team of researchers from American University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Urban Institute provided peer review. At the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, 315 agencies completed an extensive questionnaire and 620 clients were interviewed.
- 44 percent of those receiving food from our agencies are children and seniors. (This does not include thousands of children we serve each day through our Children’s Nutrition Programs.)
- 17 percent of respondents have faced foreclosure or eviction in the past five years.
- 75 percent of households live at or below the federal poverty level ($19,530 for 3 household members in 2013).
- 50 percent of households live in deep poverty, meaning their income fell at or below 50 percent of the poverty level ($9,765 for 3 household members in 2013).
Clients Struggling With Health Issues
- 30 percent of households include a member with diabetes.
- 61 percent of households have a member with high blood pressure.
Making Tough Choices and Trade-Offs to Keep Food on the Table
Following are the choices client households reported making in the past 12 months:
- 64 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities, up from 40 percent in 2010.
- 65 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for transportation.
- 62 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care, up from 35 percent in 2010.
- 54 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing, up from 27 percent in 2010.
- 28 percent report choosing between paying for food and paying for education expenses.
Nearly half of households (48 percent) reported using three or more coping strategies for getting enough food in the past 12 months. The frequency of these strategies among all households include:
- 46 percent report eating food past the expiration date;
- 28 percent report pawning or selling personal property;
- 78 percent report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food;
- 40 percent report watering down food or drinks;
- 50 percent report receiving help from friends or family.
- The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, through its member agencies, serves 247,000 different people annually in its six-county service area.
- More than 1 in 8 people (13 percent) in our service area turn to local hunger centers for food assistance.