Current and prospective scope of hunger and food security in America: A review of current research


RTI Intl, C. F. H. E. M. (2014). Current and prospective scope of hunger and food security in America: A review of current research. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.


In 2012, 15.898 million children in America (or 21.6 % of children) lived in food insecure households, and more than half of these children experienced food insecurity themselves. Until 2007, food insecurity rates in the U.S. were relatively stable, between 15.6% and 17.6%, but the extent of food insecurity increased dramatically in 2008, from 15.8% to 21.0%. Despite the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, the prevalence of food insecurity remained at an all?time high from 2009 to 2012, with the highest rates among households with children, households of persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities. Despite public, private, and community responses to food insecurity, these disturbing trends suggest that we lack a fundamental understanding of the landscape of factors that influence the rates of food insecurity, rates that ultimately have serious health and economic consequences on millions of Americans. In response to the magnitude and seriousness of the food insecurity problem in the U.S., an extensive food insecurity literature has emerged. Understanding and awareness of food insecurity have come a long way in the last two decades, yet questions remain and, to a large degree, we have been unable to translate this extensive research into policy and program design.

RTI International was responsible for the preparation of this report. Drs. Andrea S. Anater and Heather Kane served as the primary authors with significant support from Meg Chambard, Michelle Barnes, Laura Morgan, Kathy Woodward, Dr. Jean Wiecha, and Stephen Beaulieu.

Suggested Citation: Anater, A.S., Chambard, M., Barnes, M., Morgan, L., Woodward, K., Beaulieu, S., Wiecha, J. and Kane, H. (July 2014). Current and Prospective Scope of Hunger and Food Security in America: A Review of Current Research. Prepared for the President and Congress. Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: RTI International.