New USDA Report Released

6 Million Americans No Longer Food Insecure

In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service released its annual study measuring food security, Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. This report is based on data from the December 2015 food security survey which provides the most recent statistics on the food security of U.S. households, how much households spent on food, and the extent to which food insecure households participated in federal and community food assistance programs.

Key Highlights

  • In 2015, 42.2 million (13.4%) or 1 in 8 people lived in food-insecure households compared to 48.1 million (15.4%) in 2014.i Food insecurity rates declined significantly from 2014 to 2015 in nearly every category.
  • In 2015, 15.8 million (12.7%) or 1 in 8 households were food insecure compared to 17.4 million (14.0%) in 2014.
  • Very low food security among all households declined significantly to 5.0 percent of all households, compared to 5.6 percent in 2014. iii Very low food security rates are particularly concerning because they indicate the most serious condition, when food intake of some household members is reduced and normal eating patterns are disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources.
  • In 2015, 13.1 million (17.9%) children were living in food-insecure households compared to 15.3 million (20.9%) in 2014. In 2015, 6.5 million (16.6%) households with children were food insecure, significantly lower than the number of households in 2014 (19.2% of households with children).
  •  In 2015, 2.9 million (8.3%) households with seniors experienced food insecurity compared to 3.0 million (8.9%) in 2014. The number of food-insecure households composed of seniors living alone was 1.2 million (9.2%), compared to 1.2 million (9.3%) in 2014.

Arkansas Info

  • Arkansas remains #2 overall in food insecurity in the U.S. at 19.2 percent. (19.9 percent in 2014)
  • Arkansas dropped from first to third in severe hunger or very low food security at 7.4 percent in 2015. (8.1 percent in 2014)