Hunger

Arizona

Sept 2013: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2012 Poverty Data
Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data
Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard
Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data
Feb 2012: Updated 2011 FRAC Food Hardship Data
Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America
Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data
Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children
Mar 2011: Updated 2010 FRAC Food Hardship Data
Dec 2010: AAFB Releases 2010 Hunger in America Arizona Summary
Sept 2010: Arizona Summary:  Census Releases 2009 Poverty Data
Jun 2010: SNAP (Food Stamp) Participation & Program Data
Jan 2010: FRAC Report Provides Ultra-Current Information on Hunger by State and Metro Area
Sept 2009: Median Household Income for States Report: 2007 & 2008

Child Hunger

Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard
Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data
Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data
Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children
Jul 2010: Child Food Insecurity in the United States

General

Sept 2013: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2012 Poverty Data
Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data
Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data
Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America
Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data
Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children

National

Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data
Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard
Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America
Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children
Jan 2011: School Breakfast Scorecard
Nov, Dec 2010: FRAC Reports Food Hardship Data for 2010
Nov 2009: Household Food Security in the United States, 2008




Sept 2013: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2012 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing 18.7% of individuals and 27.0% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2012.  Both figures are essentially the same from 2011, where 19.0% of individuals and 27.2% of children lived in poverty.  These new rates tie Arizona for both the 6th highest percentage of individuals and the 5th highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. 

While the 2012 Arizona poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2011, it still represents a 30.8% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%.  Nationwide, 15.9% of individuals and 22.6% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012.  Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2012 were set at an annual gross income of $23,050 for a family of four. 

Most Arizona Counties treaded water in 2012, seeing slight, non-statistically significant decreases in poverty if they saw one at all.  Apache (33.2%), Navajo (30.7%) and Coconino Counties (26.0%) again had the highest levels of poverty in 2012. Yavapai (14.3%), Pinal (17.0%) and Maricopa Counties (17.5%) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2012.  In Pima County, 20.0% of individuals lived in poverty in 2012, while in Yuma County, 21.6% of individuals lived in poverty in 2012.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Tucson (26.7%), Flagstaff (26.2%) and Phoenix (24.1%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2012. Gilbert (6.9%), Goodyear (7.3%) and Peoria (9.0%) had the lowest levels.

Unfortunately, children live in poverty in disproportionate numbers when compared to the general population, and no statistically significant improvements were seen in the 2012 numbers.  By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Apache (40.9%), Navajo (38.4%) and Coconino Counties (34.5%) had the highest child poverty rates.  By comparison, 25.5% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2012, while in Pima County, 29.2% of children lived in poverty in 2012.

 Complete 2012 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls)

Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data

Arizona’s food hardship rate increased slightly in 2012 according to a new report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  In 2012, more than one in five Arizona households (20.9%) reported not having enough money to buy the food they needed during the previous twelve months for themselves or their family.  This ranks Arizona 14th worst in the country in food hardship rate, up from 15th worst with a 20.5% food hardship rate in 2011. Since food hardship first began being tracked in 2008, Arizona has consistently had high rates, with 20.8% in 2010; 20.5% in 2009; and 18.8% in 2008.  Nationwide, food hardship dipped to 18.2% in 2012, a 2.2% decrease from the 2011 rate, the highest rate ever recorded.

The report on food hardship includes data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District.  Because the data is for 2012, it does not reflect the new Congressional Districts and boundaries that have been established.  Food hardship rates are a reflection of the current economic condition, and help quantify the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members at any point during the year.

Examining food hardship by Congressional District, two Arizona districts ranked in the top 100 nationwide.  District 4—which covers central and south Phoenix, along with much of west Phoenix—ranked the 6th worst in the country in 2011-12 with nearly one third of residents suffering from food hardship (30.1%).  This was a slight decrease from 2010-11 (31.8%).  Still, such a high food hardship rate reveals the hunger struggle in our large urban areas, where high poverty, unemployment and food deserts conspire to give residents fewer options to feed their families.  District 7, which includes Yuma and much of southwestern Arizona including parts of Tucson, ranked 76th with a 21.2% food hardship rate.  This was also a slight decrease from 2010-11 (22.7%).

Food hardship by Congressional District in 2011-12:

DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE 2011-12 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE NATIONAL RANK
1 Paul Gosar 20.1% 102
2 Trent Franks 14.6% 280
3 Ben Quayle 17.7% 173
4 Ed Pastor 30.1% 6
5 David Schweikert 11.4% 387
6 Jeff Flake 13.0% 340
7 Raúl Grijalva 21.2% 76
8 Ron Barber 13.7% 312














Two Arizona MSAs ranked in the top 50 nationwide for food hardship.  For the entire Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, the food hardship rate for all households was 17.8% in 2011-12, ranking 40th out of the 100 largest MSAs.  This was an improvement from the 2010-11 food hardship rate of 19.3%, and looks even better compared to the 2009-10 peak of 20.0%, indicating that the struggling District 4 may be recovering somewhat. 

However, the Tucson MSA took a turn for the worse, as the food hardship rate for all households increased to 18.3% in 2011-12, up from 18.0% in 2010-11, giving it the 30th highest food hardship rate out of the 100 largest MSAs.  Still, looking at the bigger picture, the Tucson MSA has a lower food hardship rate than it did in 2009-10 (19.4%) or 2008-09 (18.8%).

 Read the complete 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Report (PDF)

Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released information on School Breakfast demand and participation for 2012-13 (PDF). The report shows Arizona is making steady improvement over previous years, but at the same time, only half (49.3%) of low-income Arizona children who receive free or reduced-price school lunches eating school breakfasts.  This ranks Arizona 27th in the U.S., despite 91.5% of Arizona schools offering school breakfasts.  Beyond missed opportunities to ensure hungry kids are starting their days with breakfast – critical for kids to do well in school – Arizona misses out on additional federal funding by serving fewer breakfasts to eligible children than it could:  Arizona ranked 13th in the most federal funding lost, with more than $26 million in 2012-13.

Recent Arizona Performance:

School Year School Breakfast Participation Percentage National Rank
2008-09 42.1% 34
2009-10 44.0% 26
2010-11 45.4% 26
2011-12 46.5% 29
2012-13 49.3% 27








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Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing 19.0% of individuals and 27.2% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2011. Both figures are slight increases from 2010, where 18.6% of individuals and 24.4% of children lived in poverty. These new rates tie Arizona for both the 6th highest percentage of individuals and the 5th highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. Nationwide, 15.9% of individuals and 22.5% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2011.

The Census figures align with recently released food hardship and food insecurity data, all of which paint the same picture: In Arizona, one in five individuals and one in four of our children struggle with hunger and poverty. These figures have not changed significantly since the recession began in 2008.

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index polling data showed 19.9% of Arizonans struggled to afford enough food to feed their household during the first six months of 2012, which ranked as the 13th highest food hardship rate in the U.S. Meanwhile, the most recent Feeding America Map the Meal Gap food insecurity data from 2010 estimated 19.0% of Arizonans suffer from food insecurity—the inability to provide enough food to feed the household. Both Arizona figures were above the national averages of 18.2% and 16.1% respectively.

While the 2011 poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2010, it still represents a 32.9% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2011 were set at an annual gross income of $22,350 for a family of four.

Also worth noting is two- and three-year poverty estimates are considered more statistically stable. The two year estimates show poverty in Arizona has decreased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 18.0% in 2010-11, while the 2009-11 three-year estimate shows 19.1% lived in poverty in Arizona, virtually unchanged from the 19.2% estimate for 2008-10.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (37.0%; 8.2% increase over 2010), Navajo (33.0%; 19.6% increase over 2010) and Coconino Counties (21.9%; 15.4% decrease over 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Pinal (17.1; 24.8% increase from 2010), Maricopa (17.4%; 5.5% increase from 2010) and Yavapai Counties (19.0%; 1% decrease from 2010) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2011. In Pima County, 20.4 % of individuals lived in poverty in 2011, a 14.6% increase from 2010.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Phoenix (22.9%; 1.8% increase over 2010), Flagstaff (24.3%; 6.2% decrease from 2010) and Tucson (26.6%; 13.2% increase from 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Gilbert (7.1%; 2.9% increase from 2010), Goodyear 8.3% (9.8%; decrease from 2010) and Scottsdale (8.9%; 12.7% increase from 2010) had the lowest levels.

By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Navajo (46.7%; 33.0% increase from 2010), Apache (44.3%; 10.5% increase from 2010) and Mohave Counties (37.5%; 17.2% increase from 2010) had the highest child poverty rates. By comparison, 25.1% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2011, a 7.3% increase from 2010. In Pima County, 29.7% of children lived in poverty in 2011, a 20.2% increase from 2010.

 Half In Ten Interactive Map: 2011 Poverty Data by State

 Complete 2011 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls) 

 Map of Child Poverty based on 2011 Census data:
Childreninpoverty2011.jpg

Feb 2012: Updated 2011 FRAC Food Hardship Data

For the third straight year, one in five Arizona households (20.5%) in 2011 reported not having enough money to buy food that they needed during the previous twelve months for themselves or their family. This ranks Arizona 15th worst in the country in food hardship rate for the second year in a row, and continues a trend a trend of high food hardship rates (20.8% in 2010; 20.5% in 2009; and 18.8% in 2008, the first year data was tracked). Nationally, food hardship hit 18.6% in 2011, an increase from 18.0% in 2010 and the highest rate ever recorded.

The food hardship data comes from a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which compiles data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. The data reflects the current impact of the recession and economy by quantifying food hardship—the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members at any point during the year.

Taking a closer look at food hardship by Congressional District reveals the more startling figures, with two Arizona districts ranked in the top 100 nationwide. Of those, District 4—which covers central and south Phoenix, along with much of west Phoenix—ranked the 5th worst in the country in 2010-11 with nearly one third of residents suffering from food hardship (31.8%), a huge jump from 40th (25.3%) in 2009-10. This dramatic increase highlights the hunger struggle in our large urban areas, where high poverty, unemployment and food deserts conspire to give residents fewer options to feed their families. District 7, which includes Yuma and much of southwestern Arizona, ranked 88th with a 22.7% food hardship rate, the same ranking it held in 2009-10.

Food Hardship by Congressional District:

DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE 2010-11 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE NATIONAL RANK
1 Paul Gosar 21.1% 120
2 Trent Franks 16.7% 266
3 Ben Quayle 20.0% 161
4 Ed Pastor 31.8% 5
5 David Schweikert 12.7% 378
6 Jeff Flake 15.6% 302
7 Raúl Grijalva 22.7% 88
8 Vacant (Giffords) 15.7% 297

Looking closer at metro area, in the entire Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, the food hardship rate for all households was 19.3% in 2010-11, ranking 34th out of the 100 largest MSAs. This actually rates as a slight decrease from the 2009-10 food hardship rate of 20.0% and consistent with the 19.8% food hardship rate in 2008-09, further showing just how much District 4 suffered in 2010-11.

The Tucson MSA fared a bit better, as the food hardship rate for all households was an even 18.0% in 2010-11, ranking 50th out of the 100 largest MSAs. In 2009-10, the Tucson MSA had a 19.4% food insecurity rate and an 18.8% food hardship rate the year before in 2008-09. 

 Read the complete 2011 FRAC Food Hardship Report (PDF)

Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America

New research from the Center for American Progress calculates the costs of hunger to America in 2010 at $167.5 billion dollars, a 33% increase over pre-recession 2007 levels. In Arizona, our tab is nearly $4 billion, a 35% increase over 2007 and the 12th largest increase of any state. Nationally, it costs each citizen $542 and each household $1,410 annually.

The cost comprises related healthcare, education, lost productivity, charitable expenses, and more, but does not count federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps).

The report builds upon and updates a 2007 report principally sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation and written by Brandeis University Professor Donald Shepard, the principal author of this report; Larry Brown, who was then on the faculty at of the Harvard School of Public Health; and Timothy Martin and John Orwat from Brandeis University.  That initial report, “The Economic Costs of Domestic Hunger,” was the first to calculate the direct and indirect cost of adverse health, education, and economic productivity outcomes associated with hunger.  This study extends the 2007 study, examining the recession’s impact on hunger and the societal costs to our nation and to each of the 50 states in 2007 and 2010.

 View interactive Costs of Hunger map of the U.S.
 
 Read the full report (PDF).

Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data

On September 22, 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data on 2010 poverty levels, income and health insurance coverage by state, county, city, age, and other demographic indicators. Collectively this data illustrates the continued ill effects of a lasting recession on poverty and hunger levels throughout Arizona when compared to 2009 data.

The Census released Current Population Survey (CPS) data on September 13 showing almost one in five (18.6%) Arizonans lived in poverty in 2010, tying Arizona with New Mexico for the fifth highest percentage of individuals living in poverty. While this was a decrease from the 2009 level (21.2%), it still represented a 30% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. However, two-year CPS estimates, which are considered more statistically stable, show poverty in Arizona actually increased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 19.9% in 2009-10, and the 2008-10 three-year CPS poverty estimate for Arizona is 19.2%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2010 were set at an annual gross income of $22,050 for a family of four.

The 2010 ACS data shows one in four (24.4%) Arizona children aged 18 and under lived in poverty in 2010, ranking Arizona 15th highest in the U.S. This was a 4.3% increase over the 23.4% level in 2009. Perhaps most alarming, almost half (48.4%) of Arizona’s children lived at or below 185% of the FPL (this threshold is commonly defines the term “working poor”; 36.3% of all Arizonans are considered working poor), the 4th highest mark in the U.S. Nationwide, child poverty in 2010 was 21.6%, an alarming 8.6% increase over 2009 levels, showing that Arizona is not isolated in its struggles to combat child poverty.

By Arizona county, Apache County had the highest child poverty rate at 40.1%, followed by Navajo County at 35.1%, both decreases from 2009. However, 23.4% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2010, representing a 7% increase over 2009 levels. In Pima County, 24.7% of children lived in poverty in 2010, a 5% decrease from 2009 levels.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (34.2%; 6% decrease over 2009), Navajo (27.6%; 1.1% increase over 2009) and Coconino Counties (25.9%; a staggering 41.5% increase over 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2010. Pinal (13.7%; unchanged from 2009), Cochise (16.0%; 6.7% increase from 2009) and Maricopa Counties (16.5%; 8.5% increase from 2009) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2010. For comparison, 17.8% of individuals in Pima County lived in poverty in 2010, a 7.7% decrease from 2009.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Tempe (26.1%; 36% increase over 2009), Flagstaff (25.9%; not tracked in 2009) and Tucson (23.5%; unchanged from 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2009. Gilbert (6.9%; 1.4% decrease from 2009), San Tan Valley (7.1%; not tracked in 2009) and Scottsdale (7.9%; 8.1% decrease from 2009) had the lowest levels.

 State-by-State Adult & Child Poverty Breakdown (PDF) - courtesy of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

 Complete 2010 ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls)

Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children

According to an updated FRAC report, 29% of Arizona households with children experienced food hardship in 2010, which is defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months. This ties Arizona with Louisiana for the 7th worst food hardship rate for households with children in the country. Nationally, the average food hardship rate for households with children was 23.4% and Washington D.C. led all states at 37.4%.

The food hardship data comes from a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which began compiling the data in 2008 and has been updated with 2010 data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. The data reflects the impact of the recession and general economic uncertainty by quantifying food hardship—the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members.

Food hardship data is also broken down by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. Both the Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAs ranked in the top-25 nationally for food hardship in households with children, ranking 15th (28.7%) and 20th (27.7%) respectively. Unfortunately, that means more than 1 in 4 children in both of Arizona’s major metro areas struggle with food hardship.

By Congressional District, the data shows two districts in Arizona ranked in the top 45 for food hardship in households with children. District 1 (Paul Gosar) tied for 14th wtih a 36.1% food hardship rate, while District 4 (Ed Pastor) ranked 39th with 32.4% rate, illustrating that food hardship rates for households with children are high in both urban and rural areas in Arizona.  Food Hardship by Arizona Congressional District:

 DISTRICT   REPRESENTATIVE   2009-10 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN   NATIONAL RANK 
1 Paul Gosar 36.1% 14
2 Trent Franks 28.4% 111
3 Ben Quayle 25.1% 189
4 Ed Pastor 32.4% 39
5 David Schweikert 13.9% 404
6 Jeff Flake 23.4% 227
7 Raúl Grijalva 26.0% 166
8 Gabrielle Giffords 22.0% 276
 

Mar 2011: Updated 2010 FRAC Food Hardship Data

One in five Arizona households (20.8%) in 2010 reported not having enough money to buy food that they needed during the prior twelve months for themselves or their family. This ranks Arizona 15th worst in the country, and worse than 2009, when Arizona ranked 17th with 20.5% of households struggling with food hardship. Nationwide, 18.0% of respondents reported food hardship in 2010, down from 18.5% in 2009.

The report, compiled from Gallup survey data, also breaks down data by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District for Arizona and the rest of the United States.

In the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, the food hardship rate was an even 20.0% in 2009-10, ranking it 38th out of the 100 largest MSAs. This compares to a 19.8% food hardship rate in 2008-09, which ranked 27th.  In the Tucson MSA, the food hardship rate was 19.4% in 2009-10, ranking it 46th out of the 100 largest MSAs. This compares to an 18.8% food hardship rate in 2008-09, which ranked 37th.

Food Hardship by Arizona Congressional District:

 DISTRICT   REPRESENTATIVE   2009-10 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE   NATIONAL RANK 
1 Paul Gosar 24.0% 60
2 Trent Franks 18.3% 231
3 Ben Quayle 18.9% 212
4 Ed Pastor 25.3% 40
5 David Schweikert 11.9% 394
6 Jeff Flake 17.0% 278
7 Raúl Grijalva 22.5% 88
8 Gabrielle Giffords 15.3% 314
 

Dec 2010: AAFB Releases 2010 Hunger in America Arizona Summary

In December 2010, AAFB released its Arizona Summary of the Feeding America Hunger in America 2010 report.

 Read the 2010 Hunger in America Arizona Summary (PDF)

 Learn more about Hunger in America 2010

Sept 2010: Arizona Summary:  Census Releases 2009 Poverty Data

In September 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on 2009 poverty levels, income and health insurance, which collectively show the ill effects of the recession on poverty and hunger compared to 2008 data.
 
In general, Arizona’s rural areas were hit the hardest, but no part of the state was immune to the devastating effects of poverty and median household income decreases.  Federal poverty guidelines are set at an annual gross income of $10,080 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four.

MEDIAN INCOME

Median household income in Arizona dropped 3.5% from 2008 to 2009 ($50,489 to $48,745). Nationwide, median household income dropped 2.9% ($51,726 to $50,221). Michigan had the largest median household income decline at 6.2%.

POVERTY IN ARIZONA & BY COUNTY SUMMARY

Census data released on September 16 showed a striking one in five (19.6%) of Arizonans lived in poverty over 2008-09, a staggering 37% increase over the compared to 14.3% in 2007-08. This new poverty level resulted in Arizona being second only to Mississippi for the number of individuals living poverty.

The data shows almost one in four Arizona children aged 18 and under lived in poverty in 2009. Specifically, child poverty increased 12.5% to 23.4% in 2009, up from 20.8% in 2008. Nationwide, child poverty in 2009 was exactly 20%. By county, Apache County had the highest child poverty rate at 45.2%, followed by Navajo County at 38.2%. For comparison, 21.9% of children in Maricopa County and 26.0% of children in Pima County lived in poverty in 2009.

For the general population, by county, Apache (36.4%), Navajo (27.3%) and Pima Counties (19.3%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2009, with increases of 6.4%, 28.8% and 23.7% respectively from 2008. Pinal (13.7%), Yavapai (13.8%), and Cochise Counties (15.0%) had the lowest levels, with Pinal County actually decreasing 5.5%. For comparison, 15.2% of those in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2009, a 13.4% increase from 2008.

By metropolitan area, Tucson (23.4%), Phoenix (21.1%) and Tempe (19.2%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2009, while Surprise (6.5%), Gilbert (7.0%) and Peoria (7.4%) had the lowest levels. Child poverty rates mirrored these general population rates closely, but were typically higher. Phoenix (30.8%), Tucson (30.7%) and Avondale (26.0%) led Arizona cities in child poverty rates, while Peoria (7.2%), Surprise (8.6%) and Gilbert (10.2%) had the lowest child poverty rates.

One bright spot reflected in the new figures was a slight decrease in the number of Arizona seniors living in poverty: 8.4% of those aged 65 or older lived in poverty in 2009, down from 8.6% in 2008.

POVERTY IN ARIZONA DISPROPORTIONALLY IMPACTS HISPANIC, AFRICAN-AMERICAN & NATIVE AMERICAN RESIDENTS

Statewide, one in three Native American (36.6%), one in four Hispanic (26.2%) and one in five African American (22.4%) residents lived in poverty in 2009, compared with one in seven non-Hispanic whites (14.7%).

Compared to 2008, poverty increased in these three groups by 20.1% among Native American, 7.9% among Hispanic and 10.6% among African American residents. Poverty among non-Hispanic whites decreased 1.3%, while all other racial and ethnic groups listed by the Census experienced an increase in poverty.

Only two counties experienced statistically significant changes in poverty levels. Maricopa County had an overall poverty rate of 15.2% in 2009, with 26.7% of Hispanic residents living in poverty, a 10.7% increase over 2008 (13.2%). Yuma County also had a statistically significant change, with a surprising 40.2% decrease in poverty among Hispanic residents in 2009. Still, almost one in four (23.5%) lived in poverty.

By counties with the highest overall poverty rates in 2009, Navajo County (27.3%) showed 22.2% of its Hispanic residents and 41.5% of its Native American residents living in poverty. Pima County had the second highest poverty rate in Arizona (19.3%), with 26.5% of its Hispanic residents, 48.5% of Native American residents and 24.4% of African American residents living in poverty. By comparison, only 17.5% of non-Hispanic whites in Pima County lived in poverty, even though that was the highest figure for any Arizona county.

ARIZONA POVERTY DATA TABLES COMING SOON!

Jun 2010: SNAP (Food Stamp) Participation & Program Data

In June 2010, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, which administers SNAP (Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program; formerly Food Stamps) released the Trends In Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates: 2001-2008.

The report shows the average monthly number of participants grew from about 26 million in 2007 to 27 million in 2008, and served 67% of eligible participants.  Program participation has continued to grow substantially since 2008, reaching more than 33 million people in March 2009. The rapid growth in the SNAP eligible population, which is outpacing participation increases, has led to a small reduction in the participation rate.

Even as State agencies have increased outreach, implemented program simplifications, and engaged community partners, they face substantial economic challenges. Caseloads are increasing at a greater rate than State administrative resources. The Recovery Act provided States $144.5 million in 2009 and will provide $146 million in 2010 to help offset these rising costs.

  The most current Arizona SNAP particpation rates, along with data on average benefit dollar amount, average allotment per person, and average allotment per household can be found here.  Choose "Display All" and then look for the most current month's Statistical Bulletin.  The quick-view By the Numbers table on our homepage also displays the most up-to-date SNAP participation data.

  Interested in the characteristics and demographics of households receiving SNAP benefits?  Check out this comprehensive USDA report on SNAP households:

Jan 2010: FRAC Report Provides Ultra-Current Information on Hunger by State and Metro Area

One in five Arizona households (20.5%) in 2009 reported not having enough money to buy food that they needed during the prior twelve months for themselves or their family.  This ranks Arizona 17th worst in the country, and worse than 2008, when Arizona ranked 22nd with 18.8% of households struggling with food hardship.  Nationwide, 18.5% of respondents reported food hardship in 2009, down from when the hardship rate peaked in the fourth quarter of 2008 at 19.5%.

The report, compiled from Gallup survey data, also breaks down data by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District for Arizona and the rest of the United States.

 View the Complete FRAC Report (PDF)

 See other FRAC Food Hardship reports below, including U.S. Map of Food Hardship by Congressional District below.

Sept 2009: Median Household Income for States Report: 2007 & 2008

According to a new Census report, Arizona was one of only five states where median income decreased in 2008, and as many as 16.1% of Arizonans now live in poverty vs. 13.2% nationally.

 View the Complete Report (PDF)

Related, according to an internal Feeding America network survey, food banks see increased demand. According to the Feeding America survey conducted late this summer, food banks nationwide report the current recession and continuing rise in unemployment are having a profound effect on their ability to feed those living at risk of hunger. In Arizona, AAFB member food banks distributed 42.2% more food in the first two quarters of 2009 versus 2008 while also seeing demand for emergency food boxes, a 3-5 day supply of food for a family of four, increase by 23.2%.

Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released information on School Breakfast demand and participation for 2012-13 (PDF). The report shows Arizona is making steady improvement over previous years, but at the same time, only half (49.3%) of low-income Arizona children who receive free or reduced-price school lunches eating school breakfasts.  This ranks Arizona 27th in the U.S., despite 91.5% of Arizona schools offering school breakfasts.  Beyond missed opportunities to ensure hungry kids are starting their days with breakfast – critical for kids to do well in school – Arizona misses out on additional federal funding by serving fewer breakfasts to eligible children than it could:  Arizona ranked 13th in the most federal funding lost, with more than $26 million in 2012-13.

Recent Arizona Performance:

School Year School Breakfast Participation Percentage National Rank
2008-09 42.1% 34
2009-10 44.0% 26
2010-11 45.4% 26
2011-12 46.5% 29
2012-13 49.3% 27








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Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing 19.0% of individuals and 27.2% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2011. Both figures are slight increases from 2010, where 18.6% of individuals and 24.4% of children lived in poverty. These new rates tie Arizona for both the 6th highest percentage of individuals and the 5th highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. Nationwide, 15.9% of individuals and 22.5% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2011.

The Census figures align with recently released food hardship and food insecurity data, all of which paint the same picture: In Arizona, one in five individuals and one in four of our children struggle with hunger and poverty. These figures have not changed significantly since the recession began in 2008.

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index polling data showed 19.9% of Arizonans struggled to afford enough food to feed their household during the first six months of 2012, which ranked as the 13th highest food hardship rate in the U.S. Meanwhile, the most recent Feeding America Map the Meal Gap food insecurity data from 2010 estimated 19.0% of Arizonans suffer from food insecurity—the inability to provide enough food to feed the household. Both Arizona figures were above the national averages of 18.2% and 16.1% respectively.

While the 2011 poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2010, it still represents a 32.9% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2011 were set at an annual gross income of $22,350 for a family of four.

Also worth noting is two- and three-year poverty estimates are considered more statistically stable. The two year estimates show poverty in Arizona has decreased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 18.0% in 2010-11, while the 2009-11 three-year estimate shows 19.1% lived in poverty in Arizona, virtually unchanged from the 19.2% estimate for 2008-10.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (37.0%; 8.2% increase over 2010), Navajo (33.0%; 19.6% increase over 2010) and Coconino Counties (21.9%; 15.4% decrease over 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Pinal (17.1; 24.8% increase from 2010), Maricopa (17.4%; 5.5% increase from 2010) and Yavapai Counties (19.0%; 1% decrease from 2010) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2011. In Pima County, 20.4 % of individuals lived in poverty in 2011, a 14.6% increase from 2010.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Phoenix (22.9%; 1.8% increase over 2010), Flagstaff (24.3%; 6.2% decrease from 2010) and Tucson (26.6%; 13.2% increase from 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Gilbert (7.1%; 2.9% increase from 2010), Goodyear 8.3% (9.8%; decrease from 2010) and Scottsdale (8.9%; 12.7% increase from 2010) had the lowest levels.

By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Navajo (46.7%; 33.0% increase from 2010), Apache (44.3%; 10.5% increase from 2010) and Mohave Counties (37.5%; 17.2% increase from 2010) had the highest child poverty rates. By comparison, 25.1% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2011, a 7.3% increase from 2010. In Pima County, 29.7% of children lived in poverty in 2011, a 20.2% increase from 2010.

 Half In Ten Interactive Map: 2011 Poverty Data by State

 Complete 2011 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls) 

 Map of Child Poverty based on 2011 Census data:
Childreninpoverty2011.jpg

Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data

On September 22, 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data on 2010 poverty levels, income and health insurance coverage by state, county, city, age, and other demographic indicators. Collectively this data illustrates the continued ill effects of a lasting recession on poverty and hunger levels throughout Arizona when compared to 2009 data.

The Census released Current Population Survey (CPS) data on September 13 showing almost one in five (18.6%) Arizonans lived in poverty in 2010, tying Arizona with New Mexico for the fifth highest percentage of individuals living in poverty. While this was a decrease from the 2009 level (21.2%), it still represented a 30% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. However, two-year CPS estimates, which are considered more statistically stable, show poverty in Arizona actually increased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 19.9% in 2009-10, and the 2008-10 three-year CPS poverty estimate for Arizona is 19.2%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2010 were set at an annual gross income of $22,050 for a family of four.

The 2010 ACS data shows one in four (24.4%) Arizona children aged 18 and under lived in poverty in 2010, ranking Arizona 15th highest in the U.S. This was a 4.3% increase over the 23.4% level in 2009. Perhaps most alarming, almost half (48.4%) of Arizona’s children lived at or below 185% of the FPL (this threshold is commonly defines the term “working poor”; 36.3% of all Arizonans are considered working poor), the 4th highest mark in the U.S. Nationwide, child poverty in 2010 was 21.6%, an alarming 8.6% increase over 2009 levels, showing that Arizona is not isolated in its struggles to combat child poverty.

By Arizona county, Apache County had the highest child poverty rate at 40.1%, followed by Navajo County at 35.1%, both decreases from 2009. However, 23.4% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2010, representing a 7% increase over 2009 levels. In Pima County, 24.7% of children lived in poverty in 2010, a 5% decrease from 2009 levels.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (34.2%; 6% decrease over 2009), Navajo (27.6%; 1.1% increase over 2009) and Coconino Counties (25.9%; a staggering 41.5% increase over 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2010. Pinal (13.7%; unchanged from 2009), Cochise (16.0%; 6.7% increase from 2009) and Maricopa Counties (16.5%; 8.5% increase from 2009) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2010. For comparison, 17.8% of individuals in Pima County lived in poverty in 2010, a 7.7% decrease from 2009.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Tempe (26.1%; 36% increase over 2009), Flagstaff (25.9%; not tracked in 2009) and Tucson (23.5%; unchanged from 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2009. Gilbert (6.9%; 1.4% decrease from 2009), San Tan Valley (7.1%; not tracked in 2009) and Scottsdale (7.9%; 8.1% decrease from 2009) had the lowest levels.

 State-by-State Adult & Child Poverty Breakdown (PDF) - courtesy of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

 Complete 2010 ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls)

Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children

According to an updated FRAC report, 29% of Arizona households with children experienced food hardship in 2010, which is defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months. This ties Arizona with Louisiana for the 7th worst food hardship rate for households with children in the country. Nationally, the average food hardship rate for households with children was 23.4% and Washington D.C. led all states at 37.4%.

The food hardship data comes from a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which began compiling the data in 2008 and has been updated with 2010 data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. The data reflects the impact of the recession and general economic uncertainty by quantifying food hardship—the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members.

Food hardship data is also broken down by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. Both the Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAs ranked in the top-25 nationally for food hardship in households with children, ranking 15th (28.7%) and 20th (27.7%) respectively. Unfortunately, that means more than 1 in 4 children in both of Arizona’s major metro areas struggle with food hardship.

By Congressional District, the data shows two districts in Arizona ranked in the top 45 for food hardship in households with children. District 1 (Paul Gosar) tied for 14th wtih a 36.1% food hardship rate, while District 4 (Ed Pastor) ranked 39th with 32.4% rate, illustrating that food hardship rates for households with children are high in both urban and rural areas in Arizona.  Food Hardship by Arizona Congressional District:

 DISTRICT   REPRESENTATIVE   2009-10 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN   NATIONAL RANK 
1 Paul Gosar 36.1% 14
2 Trent Franks 28.4% 111
3 Ben Quayle 25.1% 189
4 Ed Pastor 32.4% 39
5 David Schweikert 13.9% 404
6 Jeff Flake 23.4% 227
7 Raúl Grijalva 26.0% 166
8 Gabrielle Giffords 22.0% 276
 

Jul 2010: Child Food Insecurity in the United States

2006-2008 Report

The most recent Child Food Insecurity Report, covering 2006-2008, was released July 2010 by Feeding America and funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation, Feeding America’s Leadership Partner in the Fight to End Child Hunger.  The analysis includes the first ever state-by-state analysis of early childhood hunger, using data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The report also found that food insecurity among all children (less than 18 years of age) increased dramatically in many states compared to previous USDA data collected between 2003 and 2007. 

According to the report, in Arizona, nearly one in four (24.2%) of children under 18 are food insecure, the 3rd highest rate in the country.  This is a 4.0% increase over the 2005-2007 report.  Nationwide, 18.9% of children are food insecure.  In total, more than 13.9 million children in the United States are food insecure and unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.

 View the Complete 2006-2008 Report

2005-2007 Report

Released in May 2009, this report reveals one in six young children live on the brink of hunger in 26 states in the U.S. In Arizona, 20.2% of children under 18 are food insecure, the 5th highest rate in the country.

The rate of food insecurity in young children is 33% higher than in U.S. adults, where one in eight live at risk of hunger.  The report shows that 3.5 million children, ages five and under, are food insecure.  In Arizona, 19.2% of children ages five and under are food insecure, ranking 14th in country.  In total, more than 12 million children in the United States are food insecure and unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.

 View the Complete 2005-2007 Report

Sept 2013: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2012 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing 18.7% of individuals and 27.0% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2012.  Both figures are essentially the same from 2011, where 19.0% of individuals and 27.2% of children lived in poverty.  These new rates tie Arizona for both the 6th highest percentage of individuals and the 5th highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. 

While the 2012 Arizona poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2011, it still represents a 30.8% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%.  Nationwide, 15.9% of individuals and 22.6% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012.  Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2012 were set at an annual gross income of $23,050 for a family of four. 

Most Arizona Counties treaded water in 2012, seeing slight, non-statistically significant decreases in poverty if they saw one at all.  Apache (33.2%), Navajo (30.7%) and Coconino Counties (26.0%) again had the highest levels of poverty in 2012. Yavapai (14.3%), Pinal (17.0%) and Maricopa Counties (17.5%) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2012.  In Pima County, 20.0% of individuals lived in poverty in 2012, while in Yuma County, 21.6% of individuals lived in poverty in 2012.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Tucson (26.7%), Flagstaff (26.2%) and Phoenix (24.1%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2012. Gilbert (6.9%), Goodyear (7.3%) and Peoria (9.0%) had the lowest levels.

Unfortunately, children live in poverty in disproportionate numbers when compared to the general population, and no statistically significant improvements were seen in the 2012 numbers.  By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Apache (40.9%), Navajo (38.4%) and Coconino Counties (34.5%) had the highest child poverty rates.  By comparison, 25.5% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2012, while in Pima County, 29.2% of children lived in poverty in 2012.

 Complete 2012 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls)

Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data

Arizona’s food hardship rate increased slightly in 2012 according to a new report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  In 2012, more than one in five Arizona households (20.9%) reported not having enough money to buy the food they needed during the previous twelve months for themselves or their family.  This ranks Arizona 14th worst in the country in food hardship rate, up from 15th worst with a 20.5% food hardship rate in 2011. Since food hardship first began being tracked in 2008, Arizona has consistently had high rates, with 20.8% in 2010; 20.5% in 2009; and 18.8% in 2008.  Nationwide, food hardship dipped to 18.2% in 2012, a 2.2% decrease from the 2011 rate, the highest rate ever recorded.

The report on food hardship includes data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District.  Because the data is for 2012, it does not reflect the new Congressional Districts and boundaries that have been established.  Food hardship rates are a reflection of the current economic condition, and help quantify the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members at any point during the year.

Examining food hardship by Congressional District, two Arizona districts ranked in the top 100 nationwide.  District 4—which covers central and south Phoenix, along with much of west Phoenix—ranked the 6th worst in the country in 2011-12 with nearly one third of residents suffering from food hardship (30.1%).  This was a slight decrease from 2010-11 (31.8%).  Still, such a high food hardship rate reveals the hunger struggle in our large urban areas, where high poverty, unemployment and food deserts conspire to give residents fewer options to feed their families.  District 7, which includes Yuma and much of southwestern Arizona including parts of Tucson, ranked 76th with a 21.2% food hardship rate.  This was also a slight decrease from 2010-11 (22.7%).

Food hardship by Congressional District in 2011-12:

DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE 2011-12 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE NATIONAL RANK
1 Paul Gosar 20.1% 102
2 Trent Franks 14.6% 280
3 Ben Quayle 17.7% 173
4 Ed Pastor 30.1% 6
5 David Schweikert 11.4% 387
6 Jeff Flake 13.0% 340
7 Raúl Grijalva 21.2% 76
8 Ron Barber 13.7% 312














Two Arizona MSAs ranked in the top 50 nationwide for food hardship.  For the entire Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, the food hardship rate for all households was 17.8% in 2011-12, ranking 40th out of the 100 largest MSAs.  This was an improvement from the 2010-11 food hardship rate of 19.3%, and looks even better compared to the 2009-10 peak of 20.0%, indicating that the struggling District 4 may be recovering somewhat. 

However, the Tucson MSA took a turn for the worse, as the food hardship rate for all households increased to 18.3% in 2011-12, up from 18.0% in 2010-11, giving it the 30th highest food hardship rate out of the 100 largest MSAs.  Still, looking at the bigger picture, the Tucson MSA has a lower food hardship rate than it did in 2009-10 (19.4%) or 2008-09 (18.8%).

 Read the complete 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Report (PDF)

Sept 2012: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2011 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing 19.0% of individuals and 27.2% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2011. Both figures are slight increases from 2010, where 18.6% of individuals and 24.4% of children lived in poverty. These new rates tie Arizona for both the 6th highest percentage of individuals and the 5th highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S. Nationwide, 15.9% of individuals and 22.5% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2011.

The Census figures align with recently released food hardship and food insecurity data, all of which paint the same picture: In Arizona, one in five individuals and one in four of our children struggle with hunger and poverty. These figures have not changed significantly since the recession began in 2008.

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index polling data showed 19.9% of Arizonans struggled to afford enough food to feed their household during the first six months of 2012, which ranked as the 13th highest food hardship rate in the U.S. Meanwhile, the most recent Feeding America Map the Meal Gap food insecurity data from 2010 estimated 19.0% of Arizonans suffer from food insecurity—the inability to provide enough food to feed the household. Both Arizona figures were above the national averages of 18.2% and 16.1% respectively.

While the 2011 poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2010, it still represents a 32.9% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2011 were set at an annual gross income of $22,350 for a family of four.

Also worth noting is two- and three-year poverty estimates are considered more statistically stable. The two year estimates show poverty in Arizona has decreased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 18.0% in 2010-11, while the 2009-11 three-year estimate shows 19.1% lived in poverty in Arizona, virtually unchanged from the 19.2% estimate for 2008-10.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (37.0%; 8.2% increase over 2010), Navajo (33.0%; 19.6% increase over 2010) and Coconino Counties (21.9%; 15.4% decrease over 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Pinal (17.1; 24.8% increase from 2010), Maricopa (17.4%; 5.5% increase from 2010) and Yavapai Counties (19.0%; 1% decrease from 2010) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2011. In Pima County, 20.4 % of individuals lived in poverty in 2011, a 14.6% increase from 2010.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Phoenix (22.9%; 1.8% increase over 2010), Flagstaff (24.3%; 6.2% decrease from 2010) and Tucson (26.6%; 13.2% increase from 2010) had the highest levels of poverty in 2011. Gilbert (7.1%; 2.9% increase from 2010), Goodyear 8.3% (9.8%; decrease from 2010) and Scottsdale (8.9%; 12.7% increase from 2010) had the lowest levels.

By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Navajo (46.7%; 33.0% increase from 2010), Apache (44.3%; 10.5% increase from 2010) and Mohave Counties (37.5%; 17.2% increase from 2010) had the highest child poverty rates. By comparison, 25.1% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2011, a 7.3% increase from 2010. In Pima County, 29.7% of children lived in poverty in 2011, a 20.2% increase from 2010.

 Half In Ten Interactive Map: 2011 Poverty Data by State

 Complete 2011 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls) 

 Map of Child Poverty based on 2011 Census data:
Childreninpoverty2011.jpg

Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America

New research from the Center for American Progress calculates the costs of hunger to America in 2010 at $167.5 billion dollars, a 33% increase over pre-recession 2007 levels. In Arizona, our tab is nearly $4 billion, a 35% increase over 2007 and the 12th largest increase of any state. Nationally, it costs each citizen $542 and each household $1,410 annually.

The cost comprises related healthcare, education, lost productivity, charitable expenses, and more, but does not count federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps).

The report builds upon and updates a 2007 report principally sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation and written by Brandeis University Professor Donald Shepard, the principal author of this report; Larry Brown, who was then on the faculty at of the Harvard School of Public Health; and Timothy Martin and John Orwat from Brandeis University.  That initial report, “The Economic Costs of Domestic Hunger,” was the first to calculate the direct and indirect cost of adverse health, education, and economic productivity outcomes associated with hunger.  This study extends the 2007 study, examining the recession’s impact on hunger and the societal costs to our nation and to each of the 50 states in 2007 and 2010.

 View interactive Costs of Hunger map of the U.S.
 
 Read the full report (PDF).

Sept 2011: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2010 Poverty Data

On September 22, 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data on 2010 poverty levels, income and health insurance coverage by state, county, city, age, and other demographic indicators. Collectively this data illustrates the continued ill effects of a lasting recession on poverty and hunger levels throughout Arizona when compared to 2009 data.

The Census released Current Population Survey (CPS) data on September 13 showing almost one in five (18.6%) Arizonans lived in poverty in 2010, tying Arizona with New Mexico for the fifth highest percentage of individuals living in poverty. While this was a decrease from the 2009 level (21.2%), it still represented a 30% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%. However, two-year CPS estimates, which are considered more statistically stable, show poverty in Arizona actually increased slightly from 19.6% in 2008-09 to 19.9% in 2009-10, and the 2008-10 three-year CPS poverty estimate for Arizona is 19.2%. Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2010 were set at an annual gross income of $22,050 for a family of four.

The 2010 ACS data shows one in four (24.4%) Arizona children aged 18 and under lived in poverty in 2010, ranking Arizona 15th highest in the U.S. This was a 4.3% increase over the 23.4% level in 2009. Perhaps most alarming, almost half (48.4%) of Arizona’s children lived at or below 185% of the FPL (this threshold is commonly defines the term “working poor”; 36.3% of all Arizonans are considered working poor), the 4th highest mark in the U.S. Nationwide, child poverty in 2010 was 21.6%, an alarming 8.6% increase over 2009 levels, showing that Arizona is not isolated in its struggles to combat child poverty.

By Arizona county, Apache County had the highest child poverty rate at 40.1%, followed by Navajo County at 35.1%, both decreases from 2009. However, 23.4% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2010, representing a 7% increase over 2009 levels. In Pima County, 24.7% of children lived in poverty in 2010, a 5% decrease from 2009 levels.

By Arizona county poverty rates, Apache (34.2%; 6% decrease over 2009), Navajo (27.6%; 1.1% increase over 2009) and Coconino Counties (25.9%; a staggering 41.5% increase over 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2010. Pinal (13.7%; unchanged from 2009), Cochise (16.0%; 6.7% increase from 2009) and Maricopa Counties (16.5%; 8.5% increase from 2009) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2010. For comparison, 17.8% of individuals in Pima County lived in poverty in 2010, a 7.7% decrease from 2009.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Tempe (26.1%; 36% increase over 2009), Flagstaff (25.9%; not tracked in 2009) and Tucson (23.5%; unchanged from 2009) had the highest levels of poverty in 2009. Gilbert (6.9%; 1.4% decrease from 2009), San Tan Valley (7.1%; not tracked in 2009) and Scottsdale (7.9%; 8.1% decrease from 2009) had the lowest levels.

 State-by-State Adult & Child Poverty Breakdown (PDF) - courtesy of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

 Complete 2010 ACS poverty data for Arizona, by county and by major city/metro area (xls)

Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children

According to an updated FRAC report, 29% of Arizona households with children experienced food hardship in 2010, which is defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months. This ties Arizona with Louisiana for the 7th worst food hardship rate for households with children in the country. Nationally, the average food hardship rate for households with children was 23.4% and Washington D.C. led all states at 37.4%.

The food hardship data comes from a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which began compiling the data in 2008 and has been updated with 2010 data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. The data reflects the impact of the recession and general economic uncertainty by quantifying food hardship—the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members.

Food hardship data is also broken down by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. Both the Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAs ranked in the top-25 nationally for food hardship in households with children, ranking 15th (28.7%) and 20th (27.7%) respectively. Unfortunately, that means more than 1 in 4 children in both of Arizona’s major metro areas struggle with food hardship.

By Congressional District, the data shows two districts in Arizona ranked in the top 45 for food hardship in households with children. District 1 (Paul Gosar) tied for 14th wtih a 36.1% food hardship rate, while District 4 (Ed Pastor) ranked 39th with 32.4% rate, illustrating that food hardship rates for households with children are high in both urban and rural areas in Arizona.  Food Hardship by Arizona Congressional District:

 DISTRICT   REPRESENTATIVE   2009-10 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN   NATIONAL RANK 
1 Paul Gosar 36.1% 14
2 Trent Franks 28.4% 111
3 Ben Quayle 25.1% 189
4 Ed Pastor 32.4% 39
5 David Schweikert 13.9% 404
6 Jeff Flake 23.4% 227
7 Raúl Grijalva 26.0% 166
8 Gabrielle Giffords 22.0% 276
 

Feb 2013: Updated 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Data

Arizona’s food hardship rate increased slightly in 2012 according to a new report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC).  In 2012, more than one in five Arizona households (20.9%) reported not having enough money to buy the food they needed during the previous twelve months for themselves or their family.  This ranks Arizona 14th worst in the country in food hardship rate, up from 15th worst with a 20.5% food hardship rate in 2011. Since food hardship first began being tracked in 2008, Arizona has consistently had high rates, with 20.8% in 2010; 20.5% in 2009; and 18.8% in 2008.  Nationwide, food hardship dipped to 18.2% in 2012, a 2.2% decrease from the 2011 rate, the highest rate ever recorded.

The report on food hardship includes data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District.  Because the data is for 2012, it does not reflect the new Congressional Districts and boundaries that have been established.  Food hardship rates are a reflection of the current economic condition, and help quantify the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members at any point during the year.

Examining food hardship by Congressional District, two Arizona districts ranked in the top 100 nationwide.  District 4—which covers central and south Phoenix, along with much of west Phoenix—ranked the 6th worst in the country in 2011-12 with nearly one third of residents suffering from food hardship (30.1%).  This was a slight decrease from 2010-11 (31.8%).  Still, such a high food hardship rate reveals the hunger struggle in our large urban areas, where high poverty, unemployment and food deserts conspire to give residents fewer options to feed their families.  District 7, which includes Yuma and much of southwestern Arizona including parts of Tucson, ranked 76th with a 21.2% food hardship rate.  This was also a slight decrease from 2010-11 (22.7%).

Food hardship by Congressional District in 2011-12:

DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE 2011-12 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE NATIONAL RANK
1 Paul Gosar 20.1% 102
2 Trent Franks 14.6% 280
3 Ben Quayle 17.7% 173
4 Ed Pastor 30.1% 6
5 David Schweikert 11.4% 387
6 Jeff Flake 13.0% 340
7 Raúl Grijalva 21.2% 76
8 Ron Barber 13.7% 312














Two Arizona MSAs ranked in the top 50 nationwide for food hardship.  For the entire Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, the food hardship rate for all households was 17.8% in 2011-12, ranking 40th out of the 100 largest MSAs.  This was an improvement from the 2010-11 food hardship rate of 19.3%, and looks even better compared to the 2009-10 peak of 20.0%, indicating that the struggling District 4 may be recovering somewhat. 

However, the Tucson MSA took a turn for the worse, as the food hardship rate for all households increased to 18.3% in 2011-12, up from 18.0% in 2010-11, giving it the 30th highest food hardship rate out of the 100 largest MSAs.  Still, looking at the bigger picture, the Tucson MSA has a lower food hardship rate than it did in 2009-10 (19.4%) or 2008-09 (18.8%).

 Read the complete 2012 FRAC Food Hardship Report (PDF)

Jan 2014: School Breakfast Scorecard

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released information on School Breakfast demand and participation for 2012-13 (PDF). The report shows Arizona is making steady improvement over previous years, but at the same time, only half (49.3%) of low-income Arizona children who receive free or reduced-price school lunches eating school breakfasts.  This ranks Arizona 27th in the U.S., despite 91.5% of Arizona schools offering school breakfasts.  Beyond missed opportunities to ensure hungry kids are starting their days with breakfast – critical for kids to do well in school – Arizona misses out on additional federal funding by serving fewer breakfasts to eligible children than it could:  Arizona ranked 13th in the most federal funding lost, with more than $26 million in 2012-13.

Recent Arizona Performance:

School Year School Breakfast Participation Percentage National Rank
2008-09 42.1% 34
2009-10 44.0% 26
2010-11 45.4% 26
2011-12 46.5% 29
2012-13 49.3% 27








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Oct 2011: The Cost of Hunger in America

New research from the Center for American Progress calculates the costs of hunger to America in 2010 at $167.5 billion dollars, a 33% increase over pre-recession 2007 levels. In Arizona, our tab is nearly $4 billion, a 35% increase over 2007 and the 12th largest increase of any state. Nationally, it costs each citizen $542 and each household $1,410 annually.

The cost comprises related healthcare, education, lost productivity, charitable expenses, and more, but does not count federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps).

The report builds upon and updates a 2007 report principally sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation and written by Brandeis University Professor Donald Shepard, the principal author of this report; Larry Brown, who was then on the faculty at of the Harvard School of Public Health; and Timothy Martin and John Orwat from Brandeis University.  That initial report, “The Economic Costs of Domestic Hunger,” was the first to calculate the direct and indirect cost of adverse health, education, and economic productivity outcomes associated with hunger.  This study extends the 2007 study, examining the recession’s impact on hunger and the societal costs to our nation and to each of the 50 states in 2007 and 2010.

 View interactive Costs of Hunger map of the U.S.
 
 Read the full report (PDF).

Aug 2011: Food Hardship Data for Households with Children

According to an updated FRAC report, 29% of Arizona households with children experienced food hardship in 2010, which is defined as not having enough money to buy needed food during the previous twelve months. This ties Arizona with Louisiana for the 7th worst food hardship rate for households with children in the country. Nationally, the average food hardship rate for households with children was 23.4% and Washington D.C. led all states at 37.4%.

The food hardship data comes from a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which began compiling the data in 2008 and has been updated with 2010 data by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. The data reflects the impact of the recession and general economic uncertainty by quantifying food hardship—the inability of a household to afford enough food for all its members.

Food hardship data is also broken down by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Congressional District. Both the Tucson and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSAs ranked in the top-25 nationally for food hardship in households with children, ranking 15th (28.7%) and 20th (27.7%) respectively. Unfortunately, that means more than 1 in 4 children in both of Arizona’s major metro areas struggle with food hardship.

By Congressional District, the data shows two districts in Arizona ranked in the top 45 for food hardship in households with children. District 1 (Paul Gosar) tied for 14th wtih a 36.1% food hardship rate, while District 4 (Ed Pastor) ranked 39th with 32.4% rate, illustrating that food hardship rates for households with children are high in both urban and rural areas in Arizona.  Food Hardship by Arizona Congressional District:

 DISTRICT   REPRESENTATIVE   2009-10 FOOD HARDSHIP RATE FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN   NATIONAL RANK 
1 Paul Gosar 36.1% 14
2 Trent Franks 28.4% 111
3 Ben Quayle 25.1% 189
4 Ed Pastor 32.4% 39
5 David Schweikert 13.9% 404
6 Jeff Flake 23.4% 227
7 Raúl Grijalva 26.0% 166
8 Gabrielle Giffords 22.0% 276
 

Jan 2011: School Breakfast Scorecard

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released information on School Breakfast demand and participation for 2009-10, which showed that despite record demand for school meals, less than half (47.2%) of low-income children who receive school lunches eat school breakfasts. In Arizona, the figure was even lower at only 44%, placing the state in the middle of the pack nationally.  Beyond missed opportunities to feed hungry kids, the report highlights how states miss out on federal funding by serving so few breakfasts to eligible children.  Here, Arizona ranked 10th in the most federal funding lost, at almost $18.5 million in 2009-10.

 Read the Full School Breakfast Scorecard (PDF)

Nov, Dec 2010: FRAC Reports Food Hardship Data for 2010

According to a new report released on November 9, 2010, almost 18% of Americans reported in September that they had struggled to afford enough food to feed themselves and their families at times over the last 12 months, according to the Food Research and Action Center’s analysis of data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.  FRAC’s analysis shows that food hardship (the ability of a household to afford enough food) declined slightly in 2010, down from an average of 18.5% in the last quarter of 2009 to an average of 17.7% over the six months of April to September 2010. This trend mirrors previous findings by FRAC, released in January of this year, which showed a rapid increase in the food hardship rates throughout late 2008 and early 2009 until an increase in monthly SNAP benefits, passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), took effect in April 2009.

Read FRAC's press release on Food Hardship

View the full report, including month-by-month Food Hardship Data from January-September 2010 (PDF)

In December 2010, FRAC released a new report looking more closely at state Food Hardship data from January-June 2010.  Arizona's Food Hardship rate for this time was 19.8%, reinforcing other studies indicating 1 in 5 Arizonans struggling with hunger.  Arizona's figure ties with Michigan for 18th worse in the country; the national average for this same time period was 17.73%.  Mississippi showed the worst food hardship rate in the country at 25.64%.  

Full state-by-state Food Hardship comparison report

Food Hardship Map 08-09 



Nov 2009: Household Food Security in the United States, 2008

In Arizona, 329,000 households (13.2%) struggled with hunger during 2006-2008, the 14th highest rate in the country, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  While that number represents an almost 12% decrease from ten years ago, it’s an 8% increase from five years ago.  Most alarmingly, the number of households living in very low food security, defined as frequent cutting back or skipping meals based on survey results from the report, increased more than 51% in the last five years.

 View the Complete Report