Food Innovation Center

Collaborating for a healthier, hunger-free world.

FIC Member Jeffrey Cohen Explains Why Millions of Americans Go Hungry

Are people in the U.S. getting enough to eat? Unfortunately, even though the U.S. is bountiful and the world’s biggest individual exporter of food, millions of Americans actually are not.

Each year the Department of Agriculture runs a nationwide survey to determine how many people go hungry. The latest figures show almost 6 percent of households – about 18 million people – are consistently not getting enough to eat. Another 8 percent – 30 million people – have occasional problems feeding themselves.

Altogether, about 14 percent of U.S. households – roughly 48 million people or one in seven Americans – go hungry at some point during the year, and not because they are trying to lose weight. This number actually underestimates the problem because the survey excludes the homeless and transients, groups that almost by definition lack enough food.

FIC member Jeffrey Cohen, professor of anthropology, and Jay Zagorsky, economist and research scientist, explain the reasoning of why millions of americans still go hungry on The Conversation. Read the article here.