Hunger in Northwest Indiana

Nationwide Statistics

  • In 2009, 43.6 million people (14.3 percent) were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 8.8 million (11.1% percent) families were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 24.7 million (12.9 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 15.5 million (20.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • In 2009, 3.4 million (8.9 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty
  • In 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children.
  • In 2010, 14.5 percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure.
  • In 2010, 5.4 percent of households (6.4 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • In 2010, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.2 percent compared to 11.7 percent.
  • In 2010, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.2 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (35.1 percent) or single men (25.4 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
  • In 2009, 8.0 percent of seniors living alone (925,000 households) were food insecure.
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent in Steele County, ND to a high of 38 percent in Wilcox County, AL.
  • In 2010, 4.8 percent of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
  • In 2010, 59.2 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
  • Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 37 million low-income people annually, a 46 percent increase from 25 million since Hunger in America 2010.
  • Among members of Feeding America, 74 percent of pantries, 65 percent of kitchens, and 54 percent of shelters reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites.

Statistics from Feeding America Hunger and Poverty Statistics

Local Statistics

From Hunger Study 2010

  • 81% of pantries, 57% of soup kitchens and 75% of shelters we serve reported an increase in clients from 2006.
  • 46.9% of children we serve are food insecure
  • 43.2% of seniors we serve are food insecure
  • 51.3% of clients must choose between buying food and paying for utilities and heating.
  • 45.9% must choose between food and paying their mortgage/rent
  • 35.9% must choose between food and paying for health care
  • 45.1% must choose between food and gas for their car
  • 24.6% of clients, or someone in their home, does not have health insurance. 57.9% have at least one unpaid medical bill.
  • 49.9% of clients earn less than $10,000 a year.
  • 21% of clients earn more than $50,000 a year.
  • 30% of clients say they have at least one person in their family in poor health, and 12.5% say they themselves are in poor health.
  • 18.5% of our clients are currently employed.
  • 33.6% of client households are run by a single parent.
  • 42.7% of clients have a high school diploma.
  • 4.5% of our clients lost their job within three months prior to the Hunger in America survey. 20.2% of clients have been out of work for 1-2 years. 82.4% of clients are currently unemployed.
  • 52.4% of our clients also receive SNAP benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps).
  • 56.1% of clients use the school lunch program.
  • 51.8% of clients use the school breakfast program.
  • 98% of our clients are U.S. citizens.
  • 8% of our clients are on welfare.
  • 64% of client households have incomes at or below the federal poverty level.
  • 50% of our clients are children or seniors.

Lake County Poverty Statistics*

  • 3,002 families received welfare in 2011
  • 91,326 families received food stamps in 2011
  • 47,910 children received free and reduced lunch in 2013
  • Lake County had a 19.3% poverty rate in 2011
  • The poverty rate for children under 18 was 30.2% in 2011
  • The unemployment rate was 9.1% in November 2013

Porter County Poverty Statistics*

  • 261 families received welfare in 2011
  • 14,333 families received food stamps in 2011
  • 9,826 children received free and reduced lunch in 2013
  • Porter County had a 10.8% poverty rate in 2011
  • The poverty rate for children under 18 was 14.3% in 2011
  • The unemployment rate was 7.3% in November 2013

*Information from the State of Indiana website

Studies