Hunger Statistics

The Facts

Arizona Hunger Statistics

  • Arizona is tied as the worst state in the U.S. when it comes to child hunger, and the 5th worst for overall food insecurity.
  • 1 in 4 children; 1 in 5 adults; and 1 in 7 seniors struggle with hunger.
  • 888,100 unduplicated Arizonans received emergency food assistance in 2009, an 85% increase from the 2006 study.
    • Almost half (46%) of those were children under the age of 18
    • 74% of households lived below the federal poverty line, defined as $22,050 annually for a family of four.
    • 77% of households experienced food insecurity.

Maricopa County Statistics

  • More than 623,300 (16.5%) people live in poverty.
  • 26% of those living in poverty are children!
  • Nearly 1,138,000 (29%) are “working poor.”
  • Respondents to a Maricopa Association of Governments survey listed FOOD as their major need!
  • Food assistance requests are one of the most often received calls at 2-1-1 Arizona.

Arizonans Receiving Emergency Food from the United Food Bank Network

  • On average, 21,800 different people are assisted weekly
  • 48% of household members are children under age 18
  • 75% of the families have incomes below the federal poverty level
  • 49% of the households have someone who is working
  • Tough Choices
    • 50% report having to choose between buying food and paying for utilities
    • 41% report having to choose between buying food and paying their rent or mortgage
    • 27% report having to choose between buying food and paying for medical care
    • 31% report having to choose buying food and paying for transportation
    • 42% report having to choose buying food and paying for gas for a car

Definitions

  • Food Security refers to access to enough food at all times for an active and healthy life. At a minimum, food security includes: the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies, for example).
  • Food Insecurity occurs whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways, is limited or uncertain.
  • Hunger is the uneasy or painful sensation caused by a recurrent or involuntary lack of food and is a potential, although not necessary consequence of food insecurity. Over time, hunger may result in malnutrition.

*This information comes from the 2010 Hunger in America Report

Download our UFB Fact Sheet

Download a copy of our 2013 Fact Sheet