Hunger in Illinois

Feeding Illinois and its food bank partners are essential to those who are hungry in our state. Because hunger often is a hidden problem, our perception of who is hungry in our state can be biased. In reality hunger affects a significant portion of our states population.  Approximately 14%, or over 1 of every 7 people, did not have access to nutritious food sometime during the year.

In 2013, over 1.8 million people were served by the Feeding Illinois partner food banks. 

14% of clients were seniors aged 60 and older.

An estimated 37% of clients were White, Non-Hispanic; 38% were Black, Non-Hispanic; and 18% were Hispanic.

About 38% of client households had a member who completed at least some college.

Nearly 61% of client households reported at least one employed person at some point in the past year.

Approximately 58% of client households in the state received SNAP (food stamp) benefits, but an additional 63% of client households not receiving SNAP benefits were potentially income-eligible to receive the benefit.

In the 12 months previous to the 2013 survey, client households reported having to make the following choices to cope with hunger:

65% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care.

75% had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities.

60% had to choose between paying for food and paying for housing

70% had to choose between paying for food and paying for transportation.

Visit our Hunger Study and Map the Meal Gap pages to learn more about how hunger is impacting Illinois.