One in four Americans is worried about having enough money to put food on the table in the coming year, according to new research conducted by Hart Research Associates and commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Tyson Foods, Inc.

The online survey, initiated as part of Tyson’s “KNOW Hunger” campaign, found that 24 percent of respondents indicated they are very or fairly concerned about being able to afford food at some point in the next year, while 31 percent are slightly worried. 

The survey, which is one of the largest and most comprehensive ever conducted on attitudes and perceptions of hunger, also revealed that many Americans perceive that affording healthy food options such as fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy, is difficult for low-income families.

While more than one-third of those surveyed indicated they have a direct connection to hunger, 59 percent of respondents were surprised to learn the parents of hungry children in the U.S. typically have full-time jobs. A majority also assumed hunger is concentrated in urban areas.  However, according to USDA, hunger is slightly higher among rural households than the national average. 

“As we’ve become involved in hunger relief over the past ten years, engaging our employees, customers and communities, we’ve seen evidence of what this survey confirms,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods.  “People do think hunger is a serious issue.  They’re willing to become involved.  But they also need to be shown how it directly impacts their own communities. We believe creating more awareness creates more involvement.” 

Other key survey findings include:

  • 91 percent of Americans are committed to the principle that no one should go hungry in the U.S.
  • 89 percent believe hunger impacts the physical development of infants/toddlers.
  • 53 percent believe that children often eat cheap, unhealthy foods so families can pay rent.
  • 51 percent believe that seniors often have to choose between paying for medical prescriptions or food.
  • 54 percent of Americans say more should be spent to address hunger compared to other problems.
  • 73 percent see a major hunger relief role for the federal government. 
  • 80 percent see a major role for local organizations/leaders.

For more information on the survey, go to