Hunger is a familiar physical sensation, but can be hard to measure. The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Good shorthand terms for food insecurity are “struggling to avoid hunger,” “hungry, or at risk of hunger,” and “hungry, or faced by the threat of hunger.”

Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America.

34 million people live in poverty in America. For a family of four, that means earning just $25,000 per year as a nationwide average.

In 2020, more than 38 million people faced hunger in the United States, including more than 12 million children.

What about Caldwell County? How many of our neighbors are food insecure?

According to the 2019 Feeding America Map the Meal Gap study, the national food insecurity rate is 10.9 percent. Caldwell County’s food insecurity rate is 15.6 percent, an increase from 13.1 percent in 2017. The NC food insecurity rate is 19.4 percent.

According to the same 2019 Map the Meal Gap study, the national child food insecurity rate is 14.6 percent. The NC child food insecurity rate is 18.3 percent and Caldwell County’s child food insecurity rate is 27.5 percent.