Food Hardships in DC


One in Three Households with Children in Washington, D.C. Report Inability to Afford Enough Food

D.C.’s Very High Food Hardship Rate for Households with Children Underscores Need to Protect Nutrition Safety Net

More than 37% of households with children in Washington, D.C. reported in 2009-2010 not having enough money to buy food that they needed for themselves or their family at times during the prior twelve months, according to a new analysis of food hardship data (pdf) released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  Among states, D.C. has the highest food hardship rate among households with children.

The analysis examines food hardship rates – the inability to afford enough food – for households with and without children. Data are available for every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Findings for Washington, D.C. and the metro area include:

There is a dramatic difference in food hardship rates between households with and without children. In 2009-2010, 37.4% of households with children in the District of Columbia said they were unable to afford enough food. The food hardship rate for households without children drops to 14.9%.

For the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria MSA, 9.4% of households without children reported food hardship in 2009-2010. But, once again, the numbers were dramatically higher for households with children – 19.4% of households with children said that they had difficulty affording enough food.

The full analysis is available on FRAC’s website (