STATEMENT: Share Our Strength’s Lisa Davis on the 2017 USDA Food Security Numbers

“2017 marks the lowest rate of food insecurity in our country since it peaked at 14.9% in 2011,” says Davis.

Christy Felling at 202.320.4483 or

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual food security report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2017. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength senior vice-president Lisa Davis:

“Since the recession the food security report has told a story about our country that policy makers, business leaders, non-profits and advocates have been working hard to rewrite, and this year’s report underscores the progress those efforts have yielded – 2017 marks the lowest rate of food insecurity in our country since it peaked at 14.9% in 2011.

We’ve started to improve the narrative on childhood hunger and food insecurity in America, which should reinforce to all of us that getting to the happy ending of this story really is achievable. 1 in 6 children still live in households that struggle with hunger, so there is certainly more work to do, but federal nutrition programs like school breakfast and lunch, summer meals, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are a key part of the solution to this problem.

These programs make sure low-income kids have access to food when they need it, regardless of zip code, age, time of year, or time of day. They’re a lifeline for families who live on the edge of economic security. This is particularly important given 40 percent of American families have struggled to meet a basic need within the last year.

This year’s report also reinforces that hunger is a women’s issue. Mothers are currently the sole or primary breadwinners in nearly half of all U.S. families. The data released today confirms that the percentage of food insecure households with children is higher among those supported by females – 30.3% in female-led homes versus 15.7% overall.

This isn’t surprising. Low-income women, especially moms, face many challenges – juggling caregiving with work, which is often for low wages, and limited work hours, benefits and flexibility, to name a few.

Moms who face hunger make a lot of trade-offs. They skip meals to ensure their kids have enough to eat, postpone paying the heating bill to buy groceries for their families and miss work to care for a sick child.

Congress has an opportunity to help these struggling moms and their families as it finalizes the 2018 Farm Bill by strengthening and protecting SNAP, which has a proven track record of improving health and educational outcomes, reducing poverty and lowering food insecurity rates among children.

As the farm bill conferees make policy choices over the coming weeks, we urge them to ensure low-income children can grow up healthy and strong by adopting the SNAP provisions in the Senate Farm Bill (S. 3042), which passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 86-11.  

Investing in nutrition assistance for our nation’s low-income children is an investment in our future.”


About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at