Hunger Facts

Facts about Childhood Hunger

Every day, millions of adults and children in America are hungry and not sure when they will have their next meal. In 2012, according to the USDA, 49 million Americans, 14.5% of households, lived in food insecure households. North Carolina ranks number 2 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 5 and number 10 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 18. Greensboro and High Point are ranked number 4 nationally for people who report they do not have enough money for food. Sadly, hunger in America and in our community is real.

Guilford County Childhood Hunger Facts

  Total children enrolled in Guilford
County Schools
# of children on
Free Meals
# of children on 
Reduced Meals
% on 
Free/Reduced 
Meals
June
2010
71,940 33,486 5,412 54.07%
June 
2011
72,743 35,853 4,267 55.15%
February
2012
73,493 37,113 4,473 56.58%
June
2013
73,410 37,819 4,718 57.94%
  • Almost 30% of children in Guilford County are food insecure.

North Carolina Childhood Hunger Facts

  • According to Feeding America, more than 618,000 children in North Carolina are food insecure.

  • According to Feeding America, the North Carolina food insecurity rate is 19.3% and the child food insecurity rate is 27.3%. The national rate is 16.4%.

  • According to Feeding America, North Carolina ranks number 2 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 5 (only behind Louisiana) and number 10 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 18.

General Childhood Hunger Facts

  • Over 16 million children in America are struggling with hunger. Even one missed meal can harm a child’s development. Click here to watch a video from the Dr. Oz show on hunger in children.
  • Studies show that when a child goes hungry over the weekend it will take that child 2.5 days of regular meals for them to retain what they learning. That means if a child comes to school hungry on Monday they are not ready to learn until Wednesday afternoon.

  • According to Feeding America:

    1. Children growing up in food-insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life.

    2.  Children who are food insecure are more likely to require hospitalization, have more frequent instances of oral health problems and may be at higher risk for chronic health conditions, such as anemia and asthma.

    3.  Food insecurity among young children is associated with poorer physical quality of life, which may prevent them from fully engaging in daily activities such as school and social interaction with peers.

    4.  Food insecure children may be at greater risk of truancy and school tardiness. When they are in school, children who are food insecure may experiences increases in an array of behavior problems including: fighting, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings, and bullying.

  • According to a TIME magazine article, scientists found that children who went hungry at least once in their lives were 2 1/2 times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared to those who never had to go without food.

  • Childhood hunger causes health problems, creates educational problems and leads to workforce and job readiness problems.  Click here to learn more.
  • Click here for a printable childhood hunger fact sheet.

To learn more about childhood hunger in America, click on the links below:

The problem of childhood cannot be ignored! Click here to see how you can get involved with BackPack Beginnings to help make a difference.