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Summary of 2012 AARP Survey of Virginians 18+: Hunger in Virginia: Awareness and Support For State Action

In Virginia, over 900,000 people are at risk for hunger including over 5 percent of who are ages 50 and older. According to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, over the past few years, donations to the state food banks have decreased by half while requests for food assistance have increased by about 40 percent. In their continued efforts to be an advocate and resource for all Virginians, and in particular those ages 50 and older, AARP in Virginia commissioned this survey to gauge Virginians experience with hunger in the state and their opinion about state support for food banks.

Key findings include:

  • Most (72%) Virginians 18+ view the problem of hunger in the state as a very important or somewhat important issue.
  • Most adults in Virginia are not aware of the number of people in the U.S. or in their state that face the risk of hunger each day – at least six in ten say each of the statistics they heard in the survey were either higher or lower than they thought, or they were not sure.  
  • Most (69%) adults in Virginia indicate they are not familiar with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) formally known as the food stamp program.
  • Most adults in Virginia age 18+ agree (72%) the state should contribute funds to area food banks and approve (79%) of the state setting aside funds specifically to assist area food banks in a time of crisis.

This RDD (random digit dial) survey among 18+ year old residents in the state of Virginia was conducted by Precision Opinion from July 31 to August 5, 2012. The sample was weighted by age and gender for adults age 18 and older residing in the state of Virginia. For more information, please contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207.