VEAP Shoppers in a Line

HUNGER FACTS

No one can reach their full potential when they’re hungry.

And hunger is more common than many think. In every community, in every classroom.

Who Is The Face of Hunger?

Too many of our neighbors are one flat tire or medical bill away from an empty fridge. Parents skip meals so their kids can eat; seniors choose medications over food. Others work full-time yet can’t stretch their paycheck to cover all their household expenses, or qualify for food assistance benefits. 

The face of hunger looks like all of us.

1 IN 12 NEIGHBORS

In Minnesota experienced food insecurity in 2021. That's 483,000 people.

1 IN 8 KIDS

Didn't have regular access to the nutrition needed to thrive.

25% of black households

In Minnesota experienced food insecurity compared to 4% of White households in 2020.

SENIORS

Are the fastest-growing group of food pantry visitors.

53 MILLION PEOPLE

Across the U.S. turned to the emergency food system in 2021.

ALL 50 STATES

Are home to people facing hunger. 

 

SEE OUR IMPACT          GET INVOLVED

 


What Is Food Insecurity?

Lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life.
A young child at dinner table holding glass of milk

What Causes Hunger?

There is no single root cause of hunger. For many, it’s ongoing and persistent. Their household incomes simply aren’t enough to cover the grocery bills and other expenses, especially with inflation and skyrocketing food prices

For others, it’s a new experience, brought on by the pandemic, economic disruptions or an unexpected bill or emergency. 

Whatever the reason, hunger remains a persistent (yet solvable) problem across the heartland. We believe there is more than enough food for everyone when we all come together. 

47%

Nearly half of our neighbors in Minnesota and Wisconsin—47 percent—are relying on food assistance for the very first time.

1 in 3

Yet 1 in 3 of the people experiencing hunger is unlikely to qualify for state or federal food assistance benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

$17.25

Those facing hunger report needing an average of $44 more per month—or $17.25 per week—to meet their food needs.

Man smiling and holding a bag full of groceries

The Racial Hunger Divide

Working to Bridge

Racial disparities create what we call “the hunger divide," the unjust reality that communities of color often face rates of food insecurity far greater than those of White Minnesotans.
Illustration of people waiting in line

Food Supports Report

Our Latest Research

Our latest research shows the reach of hunger right here in the heartland, as well as who received food and support from our region’s network of hunger-relief organizations. Conducting robust research like this helps us better understand today's hunger so we can better work to end it.
An older woman getting help shopping at a food shelf

And Making It Easier To Get Help

Working Together to Increase Food Stability

Food banks like Second Harvest Heartland, along with our network of local food shelves and hunger relief partners, provide an essential lifeline for neighbors facing hunger. But not without partners and supporters. Learn more and join us.
Sources:
Feeding America, Revised 2021 Food Insecurity Projections, released March 2021.
Feeding America “Map the Meal Gap,” July 2022; Second Harvest Heartland, “Food Supports: Conversations With Neighbors,” May 2022