10% of Adults Didn't Have Enough to Eat in the Previous 7 Days

Mish

Census Bureau stats show an increasing number of people are struggling with rent, food, and job losses due to Covid.

Household Pulse Survey Results 

Data is spread out over many Excel Tables. You can find the tables here: Week 15 Household Pulse Survey: September 16 – September 28

Household Pulse Survey Twitter Thread

  1. Loss of Income: Based on responses collected September 16-28, the HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 24.0% of American adults expect someone in their household to experience a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks.
  2. Telework: The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 36.6% of adults live in households where at least one adult substituted some or all in-person work for telework because of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  3. Enough to Eat: The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 10.1% of American adults lived in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the previous 7 days.
  4. Rent: The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 6.8% of adults are either not current on their rent or mortgage payment, or have slight or no confidence in making their next payment on time. 
  5. Eviction: The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that of adults living in households not current on rent or mortgage, 32.1% report #eviction or #foreclosure in the next two months is either somewhat or very likely.
  6. Meeting Expenses: The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 31.9% of adults live in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay usual household expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  7. Cancelled Plans:  The HouseholdPulseSurvey estimates that 81.7% of adults in households with post-secondary educational plans had those plans cancelled or changed significantly this fall.

Food Sufficiency Notes

  • Total 249.2 Million
  • 134.2 Million had enough food of the right type
  • 63.8 Million people had enough food, not necessarily the right type
  • 17.3 Million sometimes did not have enough to eat
  • 4.9 Million often did not have enough to eat
  • 29.0 Million did not report

Not Enough to Eat = (17.3 + 4.9) / (249.2 - 29.0) = 10.1%

Mish

Comments (73)
No. 1-19
Mspehn
Mspehn

Why don't we let the other 90% that are obese give them some food

Mspehn
Mspehn

Worked at a homeless shelter for years
you know what people didn't want food and cloths too much couldn't give it to the needy
you know what they did want I bet you can take a guess misshy

Sounds like a logistics problem

RunnrDan
RunnrDan

Covid does not impact how well food grows (may certainly impact its distribution, however). If less people can afford food (or anything for that matter), then the price of food must decline for it to sell - at least in a fair market.

Shall we distribute the goods and services in an economy fairly or not?

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Rapid response by the government in the spring, which surprised me at the time, prevented this from happening months ago. Now whatever economic honeymoon bailouts might have produced is about over.

It's a damn shame we have people going to bed hungry in a country with this much abundance. Failure to deal with the real needs of the people near the bottom of the financial pyramid can bring down the whole system, if allowed to go on unchecked.

Sure we have a few people beyond help of any charity or any program prepared to take care of hunger....but when ordinary working people can't pay for rent and groceries, we're not doing things right. I'm not talking about addicts and chronic homelessness. I'm talking about people who were working hard and barely hanging on...who aren't able to do that right now.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

An people insist the US allow existing illegal aliens and encourage unskilled people to immigrate to the US.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

It should go without saying but if you have a good paying job right now, stock piling non-perishable foods (rice, beans, canned tuna, etc) as much that will last you and the fam a year should be a priority. If covid disappears in early 2021, you can take the excess food to a food bank.

If covid intensifies and disrupts food production and distribution, you will likely go hungry at some point and may not have a job. Scarcity will drive up prices even if you have job/money.

A few hundred dollars “food insurance” is well worth the pain of starvation. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

Maybe this will wake Americans up from this drunken government need of them to rack up trillions in consumer debt to keep the economy going. This "got to have it now" conditioning has left America in a needy state where few save for a rainy day.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

If in the richest and most powerful country in the world, 10%+ of the population do not have enough to eat, and more people cannot meet their basic needs, then something is seriously dis-functioning: that means the wealth is concentrated in a small group of people. All the boasting like Democracy, Beacon Tower of the world, Chosen by God, etc. are just laughable boasting.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Now if about 80% more could eat less then America would be healthier.

nzyank
nzyank
  1. They live in blue states so it doesn't matter
  2. Its their own fault that they don't have food
  3. Another tax cut will result in jobs for them
  4. Why should my hard earned money be used to help a bunch of socialists?
  5. China is eating their lunch
  6. The Lord works in mysterious ways
  7. America is great again
  8. Long live the stock market!

Oh, and what about the kids???

Jojo
Jojo

There are too many people and not enough jobs. Robots and automation are going to continue to reduce the jobs available to people. People need to be popping out less children, especially if they don't have strong job prospects.

Otherwise, they stand a good chance of spending their lives in homeless camps with not enough to eat.

Zardoz
Zardoz

10 million or so homeless, starving people in America won't be a problem at all. They wont riot, or loot, or steal... they'll just quietly wander off and die in the woods, where the beasts of the field shall feast upon their emaciated corpses, as foretold by Supply Side Jesus.

nzyank
nzyank

My own view is that the capitalist model will increasingly fail to address the jobs shortfall (both quantity and quality), resulting in disaffected voters. There are lots of meaningful and important jobs from a societal standpoint that are not "economic" from a capitalist standpoint. For example research from a purely scientific standpoint, ecological restoration work, paid volunteering, infrastructure development, arts, etc. Create a job guarantee and grant program to help ensure people have access to meaningful and productive work alternatives. Currently there is a vast under utilization of work capacity, which is a huge failing of capitalism. I am not anti capitalist, I just think it needs to be supplemented correctly to address its shortcomings.
I also zero-growth policies.

dbannist
dbannist

Mish, the study and the conclusions do not match.

I am a professional welfare provider. The above Census stats are accurate, but the conclusions being made are not at all accurate.

Here's how "10% not having enough food" doesn't=actual hungry people:

  1. Not having enough food can simply be a matter of folks dieting. The way the questions are worded would allow someone to answer "yes" to that question even if they are dieting.
  2. It's impossible for anyone to be hungry in the USA AND be powerless to do anything about it. SNAP benefits are means tested, and if DSS concludes you have insufficient food available, guess what? You get a bump up in SNAP benefits (food stamps) to offset any income loss.

In my 10 years working and housing low income, I've never met a person who had insufficient food. If it was really 10% of the US population, you'd think I'd have met one by now, but I haven't.

In short, don't make a conclusion that people are starving out there. That's impossible and it does not happen in the USA except in isolated cases of deliberate deprivation of food by parents to kids.

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

Excuse me Mish, I don t fckn believe this one ! People in the fckn US(not the fckn Horn of Africa), where millions of tons of food are being destroyed annually because there s just too much of it ? Nobody in Europe is hungry, with or without money, and if I were, for example, I d just go out and steal it, I might spent a couple of hours in the police station and that s it ! What kind of a country has the US become, if this is true, but I hope and don't think it is, one can prove ANYTHING with fckn statistics, especially with political motives, that much is obvious !

Carl_R
Carl_R

Thanks for the reminder, Mish. I'll be making a trip to the food bank tomorrow, and take them a contribution. My business may be down, but I have plenty to eat, and the ability to help others who are less fortunate.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, please add another column to the table for BMI. Thanks!

Mish
Mish

Editor

"If people are still hungry, it is probably one of two things, either pride, or lack of knowledge about what is available. I suspect it is mostly the latter. "

Was on Coast-to-Coast tonight nd credited a reader for those obeservations.