A new survey finds that Americans believe that hunger is a serious problem in the United States and that government, more than individuals or communities, must play a key role in helping solve it. The survey, commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Tyson Foods, found that 45 percent of Americans say that hunger in the U.S. is a “serious problem.” Just 15 percent do not believe hunger is a problem at all in the United States today.
According to the survey, two out of five people have either experienced hunger in the past year or personally know someone who has – that includes nearly half of people aged 18 to 34. Nearly three in 10 Americans say that either they or a member of their immediate family have used government food assistance program in the past couple of years. While the survey showed widespread awareness of hunger as a regional and national challenge, still only 24 percent of respondents believed it was a problem in their own communities.
Women are more attuned to the issue of hunger and the need to address it. Fifty-two percent of women say hunger in the U.S. is a serious problem while 36 percent of men say the same. Sixty-three percent of women, compared to 49 percent of men, believe that hunger has worsened since the recession. The gender gad narrows when people are asked about solutions: Fifty-one percent of women and 45 percent of men say that Congress needs to do more to address the problem. Only 18 percent overall think that fewer resources should be allocated on hunger relief programs.