Hunger and poverty are a sad part of our cultural landscape today, just as it has been for centuries. The persistence of these problems makes it no less important to address them. Jesus told us to feed the hungry and meet the needs of the disadvantaged. Now, we seek to be faithful in doing so because every person is created in the image of God and valued by God.
Hunger & Poverty Facts
Hunger in Texas
- Texas has the seventh-highest rate of hunger at 5.1% of households in the United States. (Source: Center for Public Policy Priorities)
- Approximately 22% of Texas children under age 18 are food insecure which is the highest in the Nation.
- 23.3% of children under age 5 in Texas are food insecure.
- Texas has 1.3 million food insecure households (more than 3 million people), which is the third highest in the nation. (Source: Center for Public Policy Priorities)
Hunger in the U.S.
(Source: Feeding America)
- In 2009, 43.6 million people (14.3 percent) were in poverty.
- In 2009, 8.8 (11.1% percent) million families were in poverty.
- In 2009, 24.7 million (12.9 percent) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty.
- In 2009, 15.5 million (20.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
- In 2009, 3.4 million (8.9 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
- In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children.
- In 2010, 14.5 percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure.
- In 2010, 5.4 percent of households (6.4 million households) experienced very low food security.
- In 2010, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.2 percent compared to 11.7 percent.
- In 2010, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.2 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (35.1 percent) or single men (25.4 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
- In 2009, 8.0 percent of seniors living alone (925,000 households) were food insecure.
How Hunger Affects Texas Youth and the Nation
- With 18.8% of the population struggling with hunger everyday, Texas ranks second highest in the nation for food insecurity.
- Nearly 4.41 million Texas are living in poverty.
- Approximately 22% (the highest in the nation) of food insecure Texans are children under the age of 18.
- 14.5% of U.S. households are food insecure (compare to 18% of Texas households).
- 6.2 of 73.9 million children live in food-insecure households in the U.S.
- Every SNAP dollar spent, formerly known as food stamps, generates $1.87 in economic returns.
- Of the more than 2.4 million students in the state who get a free or reduced-price school lunch, less than 1.4 million (56%) participate in the School Breakfast program.
- Only 50% of Texans eligible for SNAP participate in the program.
- Only 12% of the 2.8 million Texas children that qualify for free or reduced priced meals during the school year participate in the Summer Meals Program.
Hunger in the World
- Hunger is the world’s number one health risk. It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. (Source: World Food Programme)
- One in seven people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight. (Source: World Food Programme)
- There are more hungry people in the world than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union. (Source: World Food Programme)
- 925 million people do not have enough to eat and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
- Asia and the Pacific region is home to more than half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people. (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
- Women make up a little more than half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.
(Source: Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)
- 65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
(Source: FAO news release, 2010)
- Undernutrition contributes to five million deaths of children under age 5 each year in developing countries.
(Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
- One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight.
(Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
- More than 70 percent of the world’s underweight children (aged five or less) live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone.
(Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)
- 10.9 million children under age 5 die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths.
(Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
Online Written Resources
Therefore: Hunger & Poverty
Famine has devastated Malawi, Africa. In the Dowa District, people are feeding themselves by digging up plants and eating the leaves and roots, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Click here to read more.
The Bible Speaks on Poverty & Hunger
On a memorable Sabbath about 2,000 years ago, a young man stood in a Palestinian synagogue and read from the scroll of Isaiah. The record of this event says, “And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.” (Luke 4:20) Click here to read more.
Baylor Center for Christian Ethics – Food and Hunger Study Guides
Download Baylor University’s study guides and lesson plans for Food and Hunger. Click here for more information.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.…” Luke 4:18
Click here for more Scripture.
For more video resources, please visit: Texas Politics Multimedia Resources.
Click here for more information on the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering.