Facts about Hunger

Millions of Americans struggle with hunger.

They are our friends and next-door neighbors – hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, sometimes for days.

  • One in six Americans lives in poverty and is considered to be “food insecure.” Food security means access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. (Economic Research Report No. (ERR-141) 37 pp, September 2012)
  • In Illinois, one in three residents is living at or near the poverty level.
  • Protein keeps the body healthy by resisting diseases that are common to malnourished people.
  • Protein is part of every cell in your body, and no other nutrient plays such an important role in keeping you alive and healthy as protein.

Malnutrition in Children

  • More than 17 million children in America wake up hungry, go to school hungry and go to bed hungry, according to Feeding America. One in four children is considered to be food insecure.
  • 56 percent of children at-risk for hunger are not eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
  • There are currently 2.8 million children living on less than $2 per day in the United States.
  • Good nutrition is critical for maintain physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity.
  • A diet lacking protein puts children at risk for illness, weakens their immune systems and affects their ability to grow, learn and fight infections.
  • 22.4 percent of children under the age of 18 are at risk of hunger in the 13 counties served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank.Beef4Hunger volunteers handed out fresh beef and other essential foods at a special Mobile Food Pantry event in November 2013 in Waukegan, Illinois.
    Lines are long these days as millions of Americans struggle to put food on their tables. Beef4Hunger volunteers handed out fresh beef and other foods at a special Mobile Food Pantry event in November 2013 in Waukegan, Illinois.

Malnutrition in the Elderly

  • Between 8 percent to 16 percent (2.5 to 4.9 million) of the elderly have experienced food insecurity within a six-month period. (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
  • Elderly malnutrition cuts across all economic, racial and ethnic groups. Malnourished elderly patients experience 2 to 20 times more complications, have up to 100 percent longer hospital stays, and compile hospital costs $2,000 to $10,000 higher per stay. (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Fresh beef provides much-needed protein.

In 2012, Beef4Hunger provided 6,104 fresh beef meals to America’s hungry. In 2013, we exceeded our goal and provided more than 25,000 additional fresh beef meals! In 2014, we exceeded 72,000 total meals served.  To Date we have served over 130,000 fresh beef meals high in protein.  Our long-term goal is to provide a steady flow of fresh beef to approximately 200 food banks nationally, equalling 10,000,000 meals annually!  For every meal we serve, we fullfill or enhance a individual’s unmet nutritional need.