Hunger

Arizona

Sept 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data
June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013
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

Child Hunger

Sept 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data
June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013
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

General

Sept 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data
June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013
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

June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013
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




Sept 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data yesterday showing 18.6% of individuals and 26.5% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2013, slight declines from the 2012 poverty rates of 18.7% and 27.0%, respectively.  For the second consecutive year in 2013, Arizona ranked 8th in the U.S. in highest percentage of individuals living in poverty.  Arizona did improve to 11th worst of highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S., up from 8th worst in 2012, although areas with high child poverty rates saw their plight worsen.

While the 2013 Arizona poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2012, it still represents a 30.1% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%.  Nationwide, 15.8% of individuals and 21.9% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012.  Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2013 were set at an annual gross income of $23,550 for a family of four. 

Children live in poverty in disproportionate numbers when compared to the general population, and suffered greatly in high-poverty counties in 2013.  By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Apache (51.4% in 2013 vs. 40.9% in 2012), Navajo (45.8% in 2013 vs. 38.4% in 2012) and Mohave Counties (31.0% in 2013 vs. 33.7% in 2012) had the highest child poverty rates.  By comparison, 25.5% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2013 (unchanged from 2012), while in Pima County saw a decrease from 29.2% in 2012 to 26.7% of children living in poverty in 2013. 

For the first time, Census ACS released data for all of Arizona’s Congressional Districts, including the recently created District 9.  Here are the 2013 poverty rates by Arizona Congressional District:

  ALL INDIVIDUALS CHILDREN UNDER 18
District 1 - Ann Kirkpatrick 22.3% 31.8%
District 2 - Ron Barber 17.1% 23.4%
District 3 - Raul Grijalva 23.4% 30.4%
District 4 - Paul Gosar 17.4% 25.5%
District 5 - Matt Salmon 9.1% 9.9%
District 6 - David Schweikert 11.2% 15.1%
District 7 - Ed Pastor 37.0% 50.0%
District 8 - Trent Franks 11.1% 15.5%
District 9 - Kyrsten Sinema 19.4% 28.7%















By county, many Arizona Counties treaded water in 2013, although the two most impoverished saw increases: Both Apache (40.1% in 2013 vs. 33.2% in 2012) and Navajo (32.7% in 2013 vs. 30.7% in 2012) Counties saw poverty increases.  Coconino County (24.1%) finished with the third highest poverty rate in 2013.  Yavapai (16.1%), Pinal (16.3%) and Maricopa Counties (17.7%) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2013.  In Pima County, 19.5% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013, while in Yuma County, 17.8% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Glendale (26.3%), Tucson (25.3%) and Flagstaff (24.4%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2013. Gilbert (5.9%), Scottsdale (9.3%) and Chandler (10.4%) had the lowest levels.  Phoenix had a 23.6% poverty rate in 2013.

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by County (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Major City / Metro Area (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Congressional District (xls)

June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013

Arizona served 8,400 more children in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in 2013 compared to 2012. This improved performance meant 14.9% of children receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year also received SFSP meals in 2013, ranking Arizona 24th in the country and comparing favorably to the national average of 15.1%.  It also continues a steady string of SFSP participation improvement for Arizona, which ranked as one of the worst states in the country just five years ago.

Yet, Arizona served 300,000 fewer meals to low-income children last year, an average decrease of nearly 6,000 fewer meals served each day compared to 2012.  Arizona served almost 1.1 million summer meals in 2013, down from the 1.4 million served in 2012.

Comparing participation rates of SFSP meals versus free and reduced-price lunches served by the National School Lunch Program during the school year acts as a proxy for determining how many low income children who may be at a higher risk for food insecurity are having their nutrition needs met over the summer.  Currently, more than 1 in 4 Arizona children (28.2%) struggle with food insecurity, meaning they live in households that may lack access to or the ability to afford enough food to feed all household members.

One of the biggest issues facing Arizona is finding a way to have kids return for summer meals on a regular basis.  Arizona also had slightly fewer SFSP meal sites and significantly fewer site sponsors in 2013, resulting in some children lacking access to summer meals because sites were located too far away from their residence, or in the case of some rural towns, there were no SFSP sites at all.  Not all schools are SFSP sites. Another reason to boost SFSP participation is that food costs are 100% reimbursed by the USDA.  If Arizona was able to increase participation levels to meet FRAC’s national goal of 40%, the state would receive an additional $8.7 million in federal funding.

Full data for Arizona and the U.S. available in Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation - Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014 (PDF).

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 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data yesterday showing 18.6% of individuals and 26.5% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2013, slight declines from the 2012 poverty rates of 18.7% and 27.0%, respectively.  For the second consecutive year in 2013, Arizona ranked 8th in the U.S. in highest percentage of individuals living in poverty.  Arizona did improve to 11th worst of highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S., up from 8th worst in 2012, although areas with high child poverty rates saw their plight worsen.

While the 2013 Arizona poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2012, it still represents a 30.1% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%.  Nationwide, 15.8% of individuals and 21.9% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012.  Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2013 were set at an annual gross income of $23,550 for a family of four. 

Children live in poverty in disproportionate numbers when compared to the general population, and suffered greatly in high-poverty counties in 2013.  By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Apache (51.4% in 2013 vs. 40.9% in 2012), Navajo (45.8% in 2013 vs. 38.4% in 2012) and Mohave Counties (31.0% in 2013 vs. 33.7% in 2012) had the highest child poverty rates.  By comparison, 25.5% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2013 (unchanged from 2012), while in Pima County saw a decrease from 29.2% in 2012 to 26.7% of children living in poverty in 2013. 

For the first time, Census ACS released data for all of Arizona’s Congressional Districts, including the recently created District 9.  Here are the 2013 poverty rates by Arizona Congressional District:

  ALL INDIVIDUALS CHILDREN UNDER 18
District 1 - Ann Kirkpatrick 22.3% 31.8%
District 2 - Ron Barber 17.1% 23.4%
District 3 - Raul Grijalva 23.4% 30.4%
District 4 - Paul Gosar 17.4% 25.5%
District 5 - Matt Salmon 9.1% 9.9%
District 6 - David Schweikert 11.2% 15.1%
District 7 - Ed Pastor 37.0% 50.0%
District 8 - Trent Franks 11.1% 15.5%
District 9 - Kyrsten Sinema 19.4% 28.7%















By county, many Arizona Counties treaded water in 2013, although the two most impoverished saw increases: Both Apache (40.1% in 2013 vs. 33.2% in 2012) and Navajo (32.7% in 2013 vs. 30.7% in 2012) Counties saw poverty increases.  Coconino County (24.1%) finished with the third highest poverty rate in 2013.  Yavapai (16.1%), Pinal (16.3%) and Maricopa Counties (17.7%) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2013.  In Pima County, 19.5% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013, while in Yuma County, 17.8% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Glendale (26.3%), Tucson (25.3%) and Flagstaff (24.4%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2013. Gilbert (5.9%), Scottsdale (9.3%) and Chandler (10.4%) had the lowest levels.  Phoenix had a 23.6% poverty rate in 2013.

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by County (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Major City / Metro Area (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Congressional District (xls)

June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013

Arizona served 8,400 more children in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in 2013 compared to 2012. This improved performance meant 14.9% of children receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year also received SFSP meals in 2013, ranking Arizona 24th in the country and comparing favorably to the national average of 15.1%.  It also continues a steady string of SFSP participation improvement for Arizona, which ranked as one of the worst states in the country just five years ago.

Yet, Arizona served 300,000 fewer meals to low-income children last year, an average decrease of nearly 6,000 fewer meals served each day compared to 2012.  Arizona served almost 1.1 million summer meals in 2013, down from the 1.4 million served in 2012.

Comparing participation rates of SFSP meals versus free and reduced-price lunches served by the National School Lunch Program during the school year acts as a proxy for determining how many low income children who may be at a higher risk for food insecurity are having their nutrition needs met over the summer.  Currently, more than 1 in 4 Arizona children (28.2%) struggle with food insecurity, meaning they live in households that may lack access to or the ability to afford enough food to feed all household members.

One of the biggest issues facing Arizona is finding a way to have kids return for summer meals on a regular basis.  Arizona also had slightly fewer SFSP meal sites and significantly fewer site sponsors in 2013, resulting in some children lacking access to summer meals because sites were located too far away from their residence, or in the case of some rural towns, there were no SFSP sites at all.  Not all schools are SFSP sites. Another reason to boost SFSP participation is that food costs are 100% reimbursed by the USDA.  If Arizona was able to increase participation levels to meet FRAC’s national goal of 40%, the state would receive an additional $8.7 million in federal funding.

Full data for Arizona and the U.S. available in Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation - Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014 (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

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
 

Sept 2014: Arizona Summary: Census Releases 2013 Poverty Data

The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey (ACS) data yesterday showing 18.6% of individuals and 26.5% of children under the age of 18 in Arizona lived in poverty in 2013, slight declines from the 2012 poverty rates of 18.7% and 27.0%, respectively.  For the second consecutive year in 2013, Arizona ranked 8th in the U.S. in highest percentage of individuals living in poverty.  Arizona did improve to 11th worst of highest percentage of children living in poverty in the U.S., up from 8th worst in 2012, although areas with high child poverty rates saw their plight worsen.

While the 2013 Arizona poverty rate is essentially unchanged from 2012, it still represents a 30.1% increase over the pre-recession 2007 poverty level of 14.3%.  Nationwide, 15.8% of individuals and 21.9% of children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012.  Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines in 2013 were set at an annual gross income of $23,550 for a family of four. 

Children live in poverty in disproportionate numbers when compared to the general population, and suffered greatly in high-poverty counties in 2013.  By percentage of children under of the age of 18, Apache (51.4% in 2013 vs. 40.9% in 2012), Navajo (45.8% in 2013 vs. 38.4% in 2012) and Mohave Counties (31.0% in 2013 vs. 33.7% in 2012) had the highest child poverty rates.  By comparison, 25.5% of children in Maricopa County lived in poverty in 2013 (unchanged from 2012), while in Pima County saw a decrease from 29.2% in 2012 to 26.7% of children living in poverty in 2013. 

For the first time, Census ACS released data for all of Arizona’s Congressional Districts, including the recently created District 9.  Here are the 2013 poverty rates by Arizona Congressional District:

  ALL INDIVIDUALS CHILDREN UNDER 18
District 1 - Ann Kirkpatrick 22.3% 31.8%
District 2 - Ron Barber 17.1% 23.4%
District 3 - Raul Grijalva 23.4% 30.4%
District 4 - Paul Gosar 17.4% 25.5%
District 5 - Matt Salmon 9.1% 9.9%
District 6 - David Schweikert 11.2% 15.1%
District 7 - Ed Pastor 37.0% 50.0%
District 8 - Trent Franks 11.1% 15.5%
District 9 - Kyrsten Sinema 19.4% 28.7%















By county, many Arizona Counties treaded water in 2013, although the two most impoverished saw increases: Both Apache (40.1% in 2013 vs. 33.2% in 2012) and Navajo (32.7% in 2013 vs. 30.7% in 2012) Counties saw poverty increases.  Coconino County (24.1%) finished with the third highest poverty rate in 2013.  Yavapai (16.1%), Pinal (16.3%) and Maricopa Counties (17.7%) had the lowest levels of poverty in 2013.  In Pima County, 19.5% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013, while in Yuma County, 17.8% of individuals lived in poverty in 2013.

By Arizona metropolitan area poverty rates, Glendale (26.3%), Tucson (25.3%) and Flagstaff (24.4%) had the highest levels of poverty in 2013. Gilbert (5.9%), Scottsdale (9.3%) and Chandler (10.4%) had the lowest levels.  Phoenix had a 23.6% poverty rate in 2013.

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by County (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Major City / Metro Area (xls)

Complete 2013 Census ACS poverty data for Arizona by Congressional District (xls)

June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013

Arizona served 8,400 more children in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in 2013 compared to 2012. This improved performance meant 14.9% of children receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year also received SFSP meals in 2013, ranking Arizona 24th in the country and comparing favorably to the national average of 15.1%.  It also continues a steady string of SFSP participation improvement for Arizona, which ranked as one of the worst states in the country just five years ago.

Yet, Arizona served 300,000 fewer meals to low-income children last year, an average decrease of nearly 6,000 fewer meals served each day compared to 2012.  Arizona served almost 1.1 million summer meals in 2013, down from the 1.4 million served in 2012.

Comparing participation rates of SFSP meals versus free and reduced-price lunches served by the National School Lunch Program during the school year acts as a proxy for determining how many low income children who may be at a higher risk for food insecurity are having their nutrition needs met over the summer.  Currently, more than 1 in 4 Arizona children (28.2%) struggle with food insecurity, meaning they live in households that may lack access to or the ability to afford enough food to feed all household members.

One of the biggest issues facing Arizona is finding a way to have kids return for summer meals on a regular basis.  Arizona also had slightly fewer SFSP meal sites and significantly fewer site sponsors in 2013, resulting in some children lacking access to summer meals because sites were located too far away from their residence, or in the case of some rural towns, there were no SFSP sites at all.  Not all schools are SFSP sites. Another reason to boost SFSP participation is that food costs are 100% reimbursed by the USDA.  If Arizona was able to increase participation levels to meet FRAC’s national goal of 40%, the state would receive an additional $8.7 million in federal funding.

Full data for Arizona and the U.S. available in Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation - Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014 (PDF).

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
 

June 2014: AZ & US Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Participation for 2013

Arizona served 8,400 more children in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in 2013 compared to 2012. This improved performance meant 14.9% of children receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year also received SFSP meals in 2013, ranking Arizona 24th in the country and comparing favorably to the national average of 15.1%.  It also continues a steady string of SFSP participation improvement for Arizona, which ranked as one of the worst states in the country just five years ago.

Yet, Arizona served 300,000 fewer meals to low-income children last year, an average decrease of nearly 6,000 fewer meals served each day compared to 2012.  Arizona served almost 1.1 million summer meals in 2013, down from the 1.4 million served in 2012.

Comparing participation rates of SFSP meals versus free and reduced-price lunches served by the National School Lunch Program during the school year acts as a proxy for determining how many low income children who may be at a higher risk for food insecurity are having their nutrition needs met over the summer.  Currently, more than 1 in 4 Arizona children (28.2%) struggle with food insecurity, meaning they live in households that may lack access to or the ability to afford enough food to feed all household members.

One of the biggest issues facing Arizona is finding a way to have kids return for summer meals on a regular basis.  Arizona also had slightly fewer SFSP meal sites and significantly fewer site sponsors in 2013, resulting in some children lacking access to summer meals because sites were located too far away from their residence, or in the case of some rural towns, there were no SFSP sites at all.  Not all schools are SFSP sites. Another reason to boost SFSP participation is that food costs are 100% reimbursed by the USDA.  If Arizona was able to increase participation levels to meet FRAC’s national goal of 40%, the state would receive an additional $8.7 million in federal funding.

Full data for Arizona and the U.S. available in Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation - Summer Nutrition Status Report 2014 (PDF).

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)