Hunger in Maine

New Statistics Confirm Ongoing Hunger Crisis

In the wake of the recent economic crisis more people are hungry than ever before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA) reported on September 5, 2012 that 50 million Americans, including over 16 million children are food insecure.

A person is considered food insecure if they lack access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition.

Many Mainers have been hard hit by the recession. The USDA estimates that 14.9 percent of Maine households, or approximately 200,000 individuals, are food insecure. The number of Mainers who are food insecure has increased significantly in recent years. Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 2nd in New England in terms of food insecurity.

Hunger in Maine (Source: USDA)

  • Population:  1,328,361
  • Food insecurity rate:  14.9 percent of households, or approximately 200,000 people
  • Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity
  • Child food insecurity rate: 24 percent, or nearly 1 in every 4 children, are food insecure (62,800 children)
  • Maine ranks 19th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of child food insecurity
  • Senior food insecurity rate: 5.46 percent of seniors are food insecure
  • Maine ranks 17th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of senior food insecurity
  • Since 2004 there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of Mainers facing hunger

 Additional Facts About Poverty & Hunger

  • Poverty rate in Maine:  12.6 percent (Source: Census Bureau)
  • Child poverty rate in Maine:  17.5 percent (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation)
  • Maine unemployment rate:  7.6 percent (July 2012, Source: ME Dept. of Labor)
  • Food Stamps: Approximately 19 percent of Mainers are using food stamps (FY 2011, Source: USDA)
  • 40 percent of Maine’s food insecure population makes too much to qualify for food stamps and must rely on the charity food assistance network (Source: Feeding America)