Home‎ > ‎

02-Berks Stats

 Pennsylvania's Hunger Statistics 2011
Berks County, PA, U.S.A.
  • 5% of all households in Pennsylvania are food insecure with hunger. (Berks: 7,689)
  • 12.5% of all households are food insecure. (Berks: 19,222.5)
  • >1 in 5 households with children struggle with food hardship. (10,181)
  • 15% of all households struggle with food hardship. (Berks 23,067)  


U.S. Census Population, 2011 estimate;



Berks County: 412,778


  Pennsylvania: 12,743,948 

Households in Berks County:153,780 

Persons per Household: 2.58 

What is the scope of the Hunger Problem in Pennsylvania ?  

Here in Pennsylvania, and based on an average of three years of data (2008–2010), the USDA report indicates that 12.5 percent of Pennsylvania households experienced food insecurity at some point in the 12 months preceding the survey. In nearly one-third of those households (5 percent overall), one or more members also experienced hunger. Translated into human terms, an estimated 494,600 Pennsylvania households were at risk of hunger. In an estimated 168,164 of these households, at least one household member experienced hunger.

·         494,600 Pennsylvania households were at risk of hunger.

·         In an estimated 168,164 households, at least one member experienced hunger.

Who are the “food insecure”?

Data collected in 2009 by Feeding America, the national food bank network, provides the following profile of people who receive food assistance from charitable food providers:

  • 38 percent were children;
  • 8 percent were seniors;
  • 48 percent lived in rural or suburban areas and 52 percent lived in metropolitan areas;
  • 90 percent had a residence; only 40 percent had access to a working car;
  • 74 percent of households had incomes that were below $17,163, the 2008 federal poverty level for a family of three;
  • 41 percent of households received SNAP benefits;
  • 62% of households with at least one child under age 18 participated in NSLP; 53% in SBP; and only 14% in SFSP;
  • 4 percent received welfare; and
  • 36 percent of recipient households included an employed adult.

PA Hunger Action Center (July 2012)

Food security is defined as “assured access at all times to enough food for an active and healthy life, with no need for recourse to emergency food sources or other extraordinary coping behaviors to meet basic food needs”. People who frequently worry about the source of their next meal, or who need the help of food pantries or of extended family members in order to eat, are “food insecure”. Hunger is defined as “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food due to the recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food”.

According to the Economic Research Service of the USDA, the monthly rates of food insecurity and hunger are just over half the annual rates. Thus, from mid-November to mid-December 2005, 5.9 percent of American households were food insecure and 2.2 percent of households included someone who experienced hunger. See Household Food Security in the United States, 2005 (Nord, et al. November 2006).

Sources:  http://www.pahunger.org/html/hunger/ana_hungernpa.html    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/42011.html


Lamentations of Jeremiah 4.4; The tongue of the infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives them anything.
Walt Zawaski,
Mar 11, 2013, 8:49 AM