Facts About Hunger

Hunger in San Luis Obispo County

‚ÄčAt the beginning of 2020, 46,000 residents in San Luis Obispo County were struggling with hunger. Since the pandemic, hunger in SLO County has skyrocketed 154%, with children accounting for approximately one-third of those we serve.

  • 40% are children and teens, 18 years and younger
  • 20% are seniors, often on a fixed income
  • Many are working parents who are faced with choosing to pay for utility bills or buy groceries for their families

Hunger in California

Hard choices must be made between buying food and meeting such basic needs as housing, medicine, transportation, or childcare. Food insecurity disproportionately affects children and seniors. While the impact of hunger is not always obvious, its effects are present in nearly all of our communities and classrooms.

  • 1 in 8 households face food insecurity* every day
  • 4.9 million Californians struggle with food insecurity
  • 1 out of every 4 California kids go to bed hungry each night

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Hunger in the USA

Millions of children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day.

  • Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 50 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020, including a potential 17 million children.
  • According to the USDA’s latest Household Food Insecurity in the United States report, more than 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2019.
  • In 2018, 14.3 million American households were food insecure with limited or uncertain access to enough food.
  • Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity. Before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 10 million children lived in food-insecure households.
  • Every community in the country is home to families who struggle with food insecurity including rural and suburban communities.
  • Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support.

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Hunger Has A Cure

Join the SLO Food Bank in their mission to alleviate hunger by giving food, funds or time. No matter how you choose to get involved, your efforts make an impact. Everyone can do something to fight hunger in our community.

Hunger Free Communities Grant

The SLO Food Bank applied through the USDA for a Hunger Free Communities Grant that helps access more local produce to feed local food insecure persons and families. Only nine of these grants were issued in 2011 throughout the United States. The USDA responded by offering a Planning Grant that would allow to:

  • Conduct research necessary to utilize local produce effectively, support local agriculture, and understand hunger better in our county;
  • Form an ongoing Food Policy Council which is called the SLO County Food System Coalition, to continue to monitor food needs in the county and help plan strategically for the future; and
  • Develop a plan to fight hunger in SLO County.

SLO County Food System Coalition

The San Luis Obispo Food System Coalition is a collaborative organization bringing together stakeholders from broad and often conflicting perspectives for the purpose of discovering shared interests, common goals, and mutually agreed action plans that serve the common good and provide for low-income persons who do not have access on a regular basis to nutritious food. Click here to learn more.

If you belong to an organization that you believe should be represented in the Food System Coalition, please contact us. Meetings are held quarterly, with the Administrative Committee meeting one additional time each quarter and work groups based upon our goals meeting as necessary.


*‚ÄčAt times during the year, households are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.