Washington is the 15th hungriest state in the nation and in the top 6 where hunger is growing fastest.
#1 in the Northwest? Washington ranks 15.4 % for food insecurity—higher than either Oregon or Idaho.
—Household Food Security in the United States in 2011, USDA (Sept. 2012)
1 in 4 kids in Washington state lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table.
1 in 6 people relies on SNAP (food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is severely threatened by budget cuts. Half of all people on SNAP are kids.
Summer time is hungry time: we rank 40th out of 50 states in reaching low-income children with summer nutrition. Only 1 in 10 eligible kids accesses summer meal programs.
—Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2012, Food Research and Action Center
More than half of those we serve are children (36%) and the elderly (18%). An estimated 440,000 kids in Washington state—one-quarter of all children—are food insecure, meaning they don’t have adequate, nutritious food on a regular basis.
—Hungry in Washington 2012, Children’s Alliance
Hunger is a result of poverty. The unemployment rate in Washington state in 2011 was 9.2%, but that figure doesn’t reflect the number of people who are under-employed, the number of those who have given up looking for work, or the overall loss of available jobs in the economy.