90% of Foodbanks & Food Pantries Say Hunger in U.S. is a Solvable Problem






90% of Foodbanks & Food Pantries Say Hunger in U.S. is a Solvable Problem

– 2019 Foodbank & Food Pantry Survey Data Released by WhyHunger –

New York (October 10, 2019)—WhyHunger—a leader in the movement to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world—today released the results from its 2019 Foodbank & Food Pantry Survey. The survey examined the trends, beliefs and demographics of foodbanks and food pantries throughout the U.S.

While 90 percent of organizations polled report that they believe hunger in the U.S. is a solvable problem, 60 percent report the foot traffic of food insecure individuals to their food pantries has increased within the past year.

“As supported by our survey results, hunger throughout the U.S. is indeed a solvable problem. However, to ensure this goal, we need a new narrative – a shift in our mindset from thinking of hunger as the problem to looking at hunger as a symptom of greater forces at work in people’s lives creating poverty. We need to reexamine current systems in place, including better legislation aimed at creating a livable wage, and implement just solutions to strike at the root causes of hunger once and for all,” said Noreen Springstead, executive director at WhyHunger.

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • Food Policy: 88 percent of organizations believe making changes to food policy is politically possible. Additionally, 60 percent report that SNAP is a beneficial program, however the benefits need to be increased to make a real difference.
  • Causes of Hunger: When asked about the most critical root cause of hunger respondents rated corporate ownership and commodification of our food system (30 percent) unfair wages (22 percent) and lack of access to healthy affordable options foods (21 percent) at the top. A total of 68 percent of respondents say that earning a living wage would have the greatest impact on ending food insecurity within their community.
  • Inventory: While 59 percent of organizations agree that a majority of foods donated to their organization are healthy and nutritious, 64 percent of organizations do not feel they are able to consistently meet needs of community based upon the amount of food they are able to serve.
  • Demographics:A majority of individuals(53 percent) who visit food pantries are reported to be individuals with limited incomes, followed by single parent employed households (16 percent) and families where parents are working multiple jobs (13 percent).
  • Donations: While 57 percent of organizations report they only receive limited to no funds from the government, a total of 54 percent say they often receive surplus food donations from restaurants and stores within their community. Additionally, 64 percent report being unable to consistently meet the needs of their community with the amount of food they are able to serve.

This survey is a follow-up to WhyHunger’s 2018 Hunger Perception Survey, which examined the public’s perceptions related to hunger and poverty.


The survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey. Two hundred eighty-nine foodbanks and food pantries were polled, spanning across the United States.

About WhyHunger
Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger believes a world without hunger is possible. We provide critical resources to support grassroots movements and fuel community solutions rooted in social, environmental, racial and economic justice. A four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator, WhyHunger is working to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more at whyhunger.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Media Contact:

Abby Cohen


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