|Vermont Hunger Facts|
One in five Vermont children experiences hunger or food hardship. Many Vermonters find this number surprising. In the United States, a country with so much wealth, it is inconceivable that there are people who struggle to meet their basic needs. And yet, hunger is a daily reality for Americans in every state. Lack of affordable housing, low wages, high unemployment, a decrease in the number of local, affordable grocery stores, and lack of public transportation all contribute to hunger and food insecurity in Vermont.
Food Insecurity with Hunger in Vermont (2009-2011, 3 year average from US Census): Households that are classified as food insecure with hunger are those in which adults have decreased the quality and quantity of food they consume because of lack of money to the point where they are quite likely to be hungry on a frequent basis, or in which children's intake has been reduced due to lack of family financial resources, to the point that children are likely to be hungry on a regular basis and adults' food intake is severely reduced.
Emergency Food Utilized in Vermont
The effects of hunger on children can be detrimental to their health, well-being, and lifelong success. Children living in food insecure homes are at greater risk for poor health, nutritional deficiencies and obesity/overweight, as well as developmental delays, poor academic achievement, depression, and increased aggressive or hyperactive behavior.
Hunger and obesity exist in the same households. Learn more about this paradoxical correlation.
Federal Nutrition Programs Improve Health and Well-Being
Participation in 3SquaresVT (formerly Food Stamps): reduces food insecurity and improves children’s diet quality; decreases risk of poor health, anemia, diabetes, and malnutrition; increases achievement in math and reading; and is associated with decreases in child abuse.
1 “Household Food Security in the United States, 2011,” www.ers.usda.gov. The food insecure households with hunger are a subset of the total food insecure households.
2 Data on Vermont children living in food insecure homes from 2009-2011 Current Population Survey of the US Census, through DataFerrett.
3 Data from 2010 Vermonter Poll.
4 Emergency food data from “Report on the 2008 Survey of Vermont Food Shelves and Community Kitchens,” Planning, Policy and Regulation Unit, Economic Services Division, VT Dept for Children and Families, April 2008.