We Live in the Richest Country in the World — Yet Millions of Americans Go to Bed Hungry

Betsy Farrell
·2-min read
Photo credit: L. KASIMU HARRIS, EVE EDELHEIT, PATIENCE ZALANGA - Getty Images
Photo credit: L. KASIMU HARRIS, EVE EDELHEIT, PATIENCE ZALANGA - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

The statistics on hunger in America are staggering. One in nine people in the U.S. is food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to healthy meals, and many have visited a food bank in the past year.

Now, as we brace for what could be the worst recession in more than a decade, millions of people hit by unemployment and struggling with poverty are newly at risk of not having enough to eat. To capture a literal snapshot of the issue and to highlight steps communities are taking to tackle it, Good Housekeeping, in partnership with Feeding America, sent photographers across the country, from the Louisiana bayou to the farmlands of Iowa and a religious community in Houston. The results reveal a resilient beauty in cities working hard to keep people fed.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Our Growing Need

In 2020, food insecurity is projected to increase by the highest percentage in parts of the South and Southwest. For example, in Mississippi, one in three people could go hungry this year.

Food Insecurity in America

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

How Communities Are Coping

  • Arkansas is the number one producer of rice in the U.S., accounting for nearly half of the country’s crop.

  • Wisconsin produces 3 billion pounds of cheese per year.

  • Iowa leads in corn production.

  • Food Lifeline in Seattle, Washington, was the first food bank in the country to respond to the unique demands of COVID-19.

  • At the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, more than 50 tons of food leave the warehouse daily, an increase of more than 10 tons per day since February.

  • In the early days of the pandemic, casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada, were used as food distribution centers. Some served more than 1 million people a month.

  • In Montgomery County, Maryland, Manna Food Center provides locally grown produce to those in need.

  • In New York City, the Barrio Fridge sits outside a bodega. The community keeps it stocked with food that is free to any who need it. Other cities have joined in, with fridges dotting needy neighborhoods.

Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Patience Zalanga
Photo credit: Patience Zalanga
Photo credit: Eve Edelheit
Photo credit: Eve Edelheit
Photo credit: Eve Edelheit
Photo credit: Eve Edelheit
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Patience Zalanga
Photo credit: Patience Zalanga
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: L. Kasimu Harris
Photo credit: L. Kasimu Harris
Photo credit: Jared Soares
Photo credit: Jared Soares
Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Arturo Olmos
Photo credit: Jared Soares
Photo credit: Jared Soares
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

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