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Hunger & Poverty Facts


  • The official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, down 1.2 percentage points from 14.8 percent in 2014. (1)
  • In Rhode Island, 13.9% of the population was living in poverty (2014-2015 estimate). (1)
  • The federal poverty guideline for 2017 is $20,420 for a family of three. (2)

  • The definition of food insecurity is: any household that is uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they have insufficient money or other resources for food. (3)
  • In 2015, 16.6 percent of households (or 42.2 million people) were food insecure at least some time during that year.  Among households with children under the age of 18, over 8.8% are food insecure. (3)
  • Additionally, about 60.5 percent of America’s food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major federal food assistance programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. (3)
  • In 2016, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, through their network of pantries and meal sites provided 59 thousand meals per month. (4)
  • Research indicates that hungry children have done more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate. In fiscal year 2011, 44.0% of all SNAP recipients were  children under the age of 18. (3)



1. www.census.gov

2. www.aspe.hhs.gov

3. ers.usda.gov

4. rifoodbank.org



The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program is the new name for the Food Stamp Program.

Learn more about the SNAP Outreach Project or to access a benefits application:


Previous Hunger Center News

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