Twenty-four percent of respondents are very or fairly concerned about being able to afford food at some point in the next year; 31% are slightly worried. Many Americans don’t know how serious hunger is in their own communities, the survey also uncovered.
The survey further revealed many Americans may be underestimating the seriousness of hunger in their communities. Two-thirds of those surveyed rated hunger as a more serious problem nationally than locally. But a report published last year by the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service stated 14.7 % of American households are food insecure at least some time during the year. This is the highest recorded level since 1995, when the first national food security survey was conducted.
Although more than one-third of those surveyed said they have a direct connection to hunger, 59% of respondents were surprised to learn the parents of hungry children in the US usually have full-time jobs. And while most assumed hunger is concentrated in urban areas, hunger is slightly higher among rural households than the national average, USDA revealed.
“As we’ve become involved in hunger relief over the past 10 years, engaging our employees, customers and communities, we’ve seen evidence of what this survey confirms,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods. “People do think hunger is a serious issue. They’re willing to become involved. But they also need to be shown how it directly impacts their own communities. We believe creating more awareness creates more involvement.”
Tyson Foods introduced a video of testimonials on March 10 from well-known Americans who have experienced hunger. “I know for us there were plenty of times when I didn’t go to bed with a full stomach and we didn’t know how malnourished we were,” said Spencer Tillman, a network sports commentator and former professional football player who grew up in Oklahoma. To see video of various testimonials, visit http://www.tysonfoods.com/Media-Room.aspx.
Tyson is donating 1 million lbs. of boneless chicken to 37 food banks across the country during the month of March as part of its KNOW Hunger campaign. During the past decade, Tyson Foods has donated 78 million lbs. of protein, or the equivalent of 312 million meals. As a part of this effort, the company partners with the Food Research and Action Center, Share Our Strength, Lift Up America, Feeding America and the League of United Latin American Citizens.