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The Ten States Facing the Most Hunger

The last twelve months have been hard on families in the U.S. Pandemic-era government supports are gone. Grocery prices have risen to record highs. Energy costs have shot up and access to affordable housing has gone down. That’s forced parents and caregivers to make tough choices about food.

“I’ve always paid the bills first,” one father said. “You can’t go without power to eat.”

For him, keeping a roof over his family’s head was the priority. And he’s not alone – the numbers show us that there’s more hunger now than there’s been in years.

According to the USDA, 12.8% of American households experienced hunger in 2022. That’s up from 10.2% in 2021.

Mary runs a Feed the Children partner agency. She sees what people deal with every day.

“People are struggling. We’re out of the pandemic. But a lot of people who got the funding, the government funding, food stamps, things like that, have gone back to normal, but our prices have not,” she explained. “We see lots of families coming in here just struggling, sometimes just to make ends meet.”

A graphic showing the ten states facing the most hunger in the united states

Mary works in Oklahoma where the rate of hunger is higher than the national average. In fact, it’s one of ten states where families struggle with hunger the most. The numbers below represented the percentage of households that experience food insecurity.

  1. Arkansas, 16.6%
  2. Texas, 15.5%
  3. Mississippi, 15.3%
  4. Louisiana, 15.2%
  5. South Carolina, 14.5%
  6. Oklahoma, 14.3%
  7. West Virginia, 14.2%
  8. Kentucky, 13.1%
  9. Alabama, 12.4%
  10. Missouri, 12.2%

Mom Brianna lives in one of the top ten hungriest states. Her family of six has struggled with the rising price of food.

“We run out of food really fast,” she said. “It can be overwhelming and stressful sometimes, especially when they’re out of school for multiple days.”

She received food and household essentials from Feed the Children.

“With the rising price of groceries, any extra help is very beneficial. Thank you!”

No matter where they live, single-mother households are among those that suffer from hunger the most. Lyn is a single grandmother who adopted her two grandchildren. Her only source of income is social security, and it’s not always enough.

“Extra food can always help because times are hard. It’s hard to buy food. Things are getting so high,” Lyn said.

We met Lyn at a food distribution event where she got a 25-pound box of food and a 15-pound box of household essentials from Feed the Children.

“When someone offers, or hands out to people in need, it is just awesome. It’s just awesome because the kids, at least, they get something where they may not,” Lyn said. “I don’t want my kids to be hungry. I don’t want any child or anyone to be hungry. And there are no words to explain the feeling that you get when you know your children are going to have extra.”

Despite these challenges, YOU are making a difference! Your donations have given hope to families like Brianna’s and Lyn’s. Having food on the table when they weren’t sure where their next meal would come from is a precious gift. Thank you for your dedication to fighting hunger.

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