Hunger Facts & Figures


50% of the world’s people do not have a reliable sources of food and are hungry some or all of the time and 30% suffer malnutrition.

Globalization, Spirituality & Justice

Over 1.5 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day and cannot feed themselves.

Bread for the World

Every day, 18,000 children under age 5 die from hunger and diseases related to poor nutrition.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Low-income countries have child mortality rate 13 times higher than high-income countries. Of the 6 million kids under 5 who die each year, 50% is due to under-nutrition.

Bread for the World

There are approximately 165 million children in the world under the age of 5 who are stunted because of chronic malnutrition. Stunting means that the child is too short for his or her age, but it also causes brain damage.

Bread for the World

33% of all food produced for human consumption is wasted.

Initiative Save the Food

The risk of a child dying before completing 5 years of age is highest in Africa (90 per 1,000 live births), about 7 times higher than in Europe (12 per 1,000 live births).

A population too malnourished to work suffers long term economic consequences. A malnourished person can suffer a 10% reduction in his or her lifetime earnings, while countries can see 2-3% annual reductions in their Gross Domestic Product (GNP).

Bread for the World

Just 2% of the world’s grain harvest would be enough, if shared, to erase the problem of hunger and malnutrition around the world.

Economics Today

Providing people with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty creates a more stable world. For every 5% drop income growth in a developing country, the likelihood of violent conflict or war within the next year increases by 10%.

Bread for the World

43 of the top 50 consumer nations of US agricultural products were once US foreign aid recipients.

Bread for the World

World consumption of animal protein is on the rise. Meat consumption increased from 44 million tons in 1950 to 284 million tons in 2009, more than doubling annual consumption per person to over 90 pounds. The rise in consumption of milk and eggs is equally dramatic. Wherever incomes rise, so does meat consumption.  Meat consumption has a large impact on grain consumption, and thus global food security.

Earth Policy

People living in high income countries can expect to live 10 years longer.

World Bank

Many of the world’s poorest people scavenge local garbage dumps for food. For example: About 100 families live inside the Boragaon landfill in the city of Guwahati, India


La Chureca, the “City of Trash,” outside of Managua,Nicaragua, is the largest garbage dump in Central America, covering over 4 square miles, and has over 1,000 people who live & work there every day.

The Expert Vagabond

More than 2,000 families live on the Bantar Gebang landfill that lies outside of Jakarta in Indonesia

The Borgen Project

The Guatemala City Garbage Dump has 11,000 people who live and work there to survive.

Around the World in KT Days

The “Smoky Mountain” garbage dump outside Manila in the Philippines, is the home, workplace and playground to about 80 thousand people.

Peoples of the World

Click on the link below for more information about people living in dumps:

Around the World in 80 Dumps

In the U.S.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 14% of households with over 16 million children in the US are “food insecure” — meaning they can’t provide enough food for its members at some point during the year.

US Conference of Catholic Bishops

A typical “food insecure” household spends 26% less on food than typical food secure household of the same size and composition.

Bread for the World

More than 48 million Americans live below the poverty line ($24,000 for a family of 4 with 2 children) and struggled to put bread on the table

Bread for the World

More than 20% children in the US– live at risk of hunger. Likewise more than 20% of children are living in poverty.

Bread for the World

In the U.S. there are more than 38,000 supermarkets, that sell on average 40,000 items.


Americans spend 5.6% of their income for groceries and 4.3% on dining out.


Nearly 25% of grocery shopping dollars  are spent on processed foods and sweets.


People in the U.S. spend around $60 billion each year trying to lose weight because they eat more food than they need.



The average American tosses away 300 pounds of food each year

Save the

An average family of 4 people throws away $1,500 of food a year. This includes 50% of seafood, 48% of fruit and vegetables, 38% of grain products, 22% of meat and 20% of milk,

Save the

Being smarter about food helps save water too (lots of it).

For example, making 1 pound of chicken takes the same amount of water as showering for 104 minutes.

1 pound of tomatoes = 5 minutes in the shower

1 pound of bananas = 42 minutes in the shower

1 pound of rice = 60 minutes in the shower

4 ounces of chocolate = 90 minutes

1 pound of cheese = 122 minutes

1 pound of beef = 370 minutes

Save the

Approximately 21 million low income children receive a free or reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program. But only half 11 million also receive a free or reduced price breakfast through the School Breakfast Program and only about 2 million also received Summer Food Service Program meals during the summer months.

Bread for the World

More than 8 million low income women, infants, and children received nutritious food, nutrition education, and health care referrals through the Women, Infant & Children (WIC) federal assistance program.

Bread for the World

12% American households receives benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as ‘food stamps’). SNAP lifts at least 4 million Americans out of poverty every year – including 2 million children.

Bread for the World

47% of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are employed and 64% of recipients are children, elderly or disabled.

Bread for the World

In 2014, the average Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit  per person was $125.35 or $29.25 per week.

Bread for the World

Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Center of Budget & Policy Priorities

96 % ($96 billion) of food assistance programs are funding by the Federal government. 4% ($4 billion) are funded privately. For comparison, each year Americans spend almost $2 billion on Easter candy.

About 22% of Hispanic households and 26% of African American households are food insecure. Communities of color tend to experience higher levels of poverty and hunger than the general population.

Bread for the World

Families headed by a single parent under age 30 are most at risk of hunger: their poverty rate is more than 5 times as high as high as that of families headed by an older person.

Bread for the World


The United States is the world’s largest corn producer and exports between 10-20% of its annual production.

US Department of Agriculture

33% of the US corn production is used to feed animals such as dairy, beef cattle, hogs and poultry.

27% is used to make ethanol (alcohol used as fuel).

11% is used for other processing such as high fructose corn syrup, sweeteners, starch, beverage alcohol, and cereals.

10% of the US corn production is used to create distillers grains.

8% is for residential use.


Corn is used both a food and a fuel (ethanol) so when the price of fuel (i.e. oil) rises, the demand for ethanol rises, increasing the price of corn and reducing its availability as a food.