By Mackenzie Rowe, Communications Intern
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) conducted a Food Hardship study from 2008-2012. They collected data for the nation, states, regions and Metropolitan Areas as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project. Over the course of four years, Gallup polled 1.8 million households. There were a range of issues presented in this survey. The question that FRAC used for this study was “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” If the answer was “yes” then that household was filed as experiencing food hardship.
Nationally, 18.2 percent answered “yes” to the above question. FRAC separated this statistic into two smaller categories, households without children and households with children. For households without children, the rate of food hardship is 15.1 percent. While 23.5 percent of households with children reported that they had experienced food hardship. To put this statistic in perspective, this means that nationally about one in four households with children have struggled to provide food.
Unfortunately, Delaware is one of the “Worst 15 States by Food Hardship for Households with and without Children.” On this list, DE ranked number twelve with a rate of 27.3 percent in households with children. The first state on this list is Mississippi with a percentage of 31.5 and the last state is South Carolina with a rate of 26.7 percent. The rest of the states on this list are: Washington DC, Alabama, Florida, Nevada, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
When the data is split into regions the Southeast had the highest percentage in both categories, 28 percent of households with children and 19 percent of households without children. In our region, Mid-Atlantic, both percentages were below national averages. 13.7 percent of households without children and 21.7 households with children reported food hardship. While there are obvious variations between states, almost all of the states reported over 20 percent for food hardship rates in households with children.
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