NC Budget and Tax Center

One in Six Households in North Carolina Struggled Against Hunger Last Year

1 in 6 North Carolina households reported serious problems affording adequate nutritious food at some point last year, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.   Of the North Carolinians experiencing this food insecurity, some 5.5 percent experienced very low food security – meaning that one or more household members had to reduce their food intake at least some time during the year.

Overall, the number of Americans facing food insecurity in 2012 stayed roughly the same this year at 17.6 million households, nationwide.

One of the most powerful weapons against hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP). Some 1.7 million people in North Carolina participate in SNAP and use its benefits to help put a basic diet on the table each day.

SNAP benefits are modest, providing less than $1.33 per person, per meal. Even so, they have a significant impact in reducing poverty. In 2011 alone, SNAP helped to lift 5.7 million Americans, including 2.1 children out of poverty, based on the federal government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure.

Today’s data are yet another indication that the economy still has not yet fully recovered from the deep recession and that millions of families continue to struggle with job loss, reduced wages and poverty. Yet, as early as next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation that would significantly cut SNAP by $40 billion over 10 years—potentially eliminating basic good assistance for up to 6 million people, including children, seniors, the unemployed, veterans and working families. These cuts would come on top of an already scheduled cut in benefits for every SNAP recipient beginning November 1, when a modest boost to benefits, included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help struggling Americans and boost the economy, expires.


  1. david esmay

    September 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    The NC GOTP thinks we can do better than 5.5%, once their policies are fully implemented, those numbers are going to increase. Kudos to Berger, Tillis and the McCrory administration for raising the misery quotient in NC.

  2. Madeleine Watt

    September 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

    North Carolina has become an embarrassment to the United States. We have become (since the last election) one of the most backward serfdoms with tax breaks for those making over $900,000 only, next to no healthcare, rules for women only (we evidently aren’t full citizens, fracking and the environmental disasters which accompany it, reduced or no unemployment benefits, white men only, etc., states in the Union. I am embarrassed to admit that I am a Southerner, Texan by birth and for 15 years a North Carolinian.

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    September 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Wow, the tin foil hat contingent is out in force on this post.

    I think this issue is a travesty. We have all these whacko protesters out there every Monday to fight to keep their money rolling in, but few if any of them actually take action on the issues. What if each of those faux “reverends” mobilized their churches to set up food banks for example and worked to make their community better rather than trying to stay on the government teat? That would be real progress.

  4. gregflynn

    September 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Contrary to your condescending and ignorant remarks LayintheSmakDoug most of the people I know personally who have participated in Moral Monday are actively engaged in helping people in need. It is precisely because they are witnesses to poverty that they strive to remove systemic inequality causing it even as they work to mitigate its immediate effects.

  5. Alan

    September 5, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Yet more uninformed commentary from LSD. It would perhaps be better if LSD actually done what he suggests others do. However, his disdain for others less fortunate in society is all so evident in his postings, after all, it’s their fault they’re poor/hungry/sick.

    PS. The ‘tin-foil hat’ definition is used almost exclusively to describe the wacko right wingers, I think you have the wrong audience for that comment here.

    PPS. I understand your full time task, perhaps even job, is to attack anyone who disagrees with your myopic world view, you seem to spend all day here defending the current administration, irrespective of the topic.

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