The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nicole Aber,

New Census Data: U.S. Hunger Dipped Slightly in April

16.8 Million Americans Still Did Not Have Enough to Eat in One WeekAdvocates Credit Federal Food and Cash Aid for Hunger Drop"Significant, Measurable Progress Proves Government Programs Work""But Nation Still in Midst of Massive Hunger Crisis"


The number of U.S. residents who didn't have enough to eat in one week dropped slightly between March and April 2021, but, by the last full week of April, 16.8 million Americans still suffered from food scarcity, according to just-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey.

Anti-hunger advocates credited recent federal increases in cash assistance and food aid for reducing food hardship nationwide but indicated that food scarcity was still at a modern high.

In the week of April 14-26, 13 million Americans "sometimes" didn't have enough to eat and an additional 3.8 million "often did not have enough to eat," meaning a total of 16.8 million people did not always have enough to eat. This is a decrease compared to 18.4 million in the last full week in March. In contrast, during the week of January 6, before President Biden took office, 23.7 million Americans did not have enough to eat. The number of people in U.S. households with children who did not have enough to eat also decreased slightly, from 12.5 million in January to 9 million in March to 8.4 million in April.

Said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide nonpartisan direct service and advocacy organization, "This new federal data demonstrates significant, measurable progress, proving that government programs do indeed work. The polices of the Biden Administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress have, in fact, reduced U.S. hunger. But we must also be clear that the nation is still suffering from a massive, long-term hunger crisis, and that more than 16 million of our neighbors struggled against hunger in just one week. Concerned Americans should pressure their elected officials to continue to expand the public polices that are working and donate as generously as they can to effective nonprofit groups like Hunger Free America."

In both March and April, more than 40 million additional Americans couldn't always obtain the types of food they wanted, for a variety of reasons, including lack of funds, food retailers not have the food they wanted in stock, and food retailers not being able to deliver to their homes.

Continued Berg, "This additional data proves that the federal government must do more to enable low-income people to order food online for home delivery using SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps)."

Detailed data on food scarcity from the U.S. Census Bureau can be found below. Hunger Free America's comprehensive plan to end hunger through government policies and programs, including an increased federal minimum wage, additional funding for school meals, and an expansion of SNAP benefits, can be found on their website.

Hunger Free America is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food.

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