WhyHunger Statement on New USDA Hunger Statistics
“Hunger in America has become normalized and that’s not ok.
The problem runs deeper than these figures reveal.”
NEW YORK (October 25, 2023) – Jenique Jones, executive director of WhyHunger – a non-profit working to end world hunger and the injustices that cause it – issued the following statement on the release of new hunger statistics in the U.S.:
“Hunger is a big, complex global problem that unfortunately has become normalized in America. The numbers released today show that in 2022, more than 44 million Americans, including more than 13 million children, in the U.S. struggled with hunger—a figure which is statistically significantly higher than the previous two years and should be a wakeup call. We know this problem runs deep and is likely even far deeper than these figures reveal.
With compounding factors including inflation and rising food costs, policy changes and pandemic assistance rollbacks, climate change and conflict affecting food supply and agriculture as well as lack of a true living wages, frontline partners are seeing consistently high rates of families and individuals who need to rely on food charity to make ends meet.
We need to take action. These are real people who are struggling and suffering and need more than a handout. They need access to nutritious food—a basic human right. We cannot continue to let hunger be a part of the normal narrative in America. The systemic injustice at the root of hunger continues to result in a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous and other communities of color across the U.S., with the new data revealing that Black (22.4 percent) and Latinx (20.8 percent) households are impacted far above the national average of 12.8%.
We know what the solutions are. Ending hunger is about people. It’s about protecting and upholding their right to be nourished. It’s about investing in community solutions that afford people the ability to grow, pick, consume and celebrate food that is affordable and nourishes their bodies. It’s about addressing the longstanding systemic inequities that has kept hunger prevalent for decades. We need to come together to transform our food system, and our world, into one that values people over profits.”
Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger funds and supports community solutions to protect the human right to food. In nearly five decades of innovation and evolution, our programs and our grassroots partners in 24 countries have expanded agricultural practices that are better for the planet, helped communities address the root causes of hunger, and ensured access to nutritious food for millions of people. As a grassroots support organization, we stand behind the leadership of the people most impacted by hunger and injustice. We prioritize providing resources to support the rights of communities who have been historically excluded from defining and controlling their food systems. We advocate for workers’ rights and champion agroecological food production that unites science and sustainability with Indigenous knowledge and wisdom. Together we can build socially and economically just food systems that nourish all people and the environment. Learn more at whyhunger.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.