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Hunger in Iowa: Awareness and Support for State Action Summary of 2013 AARP Survey of Iowans 18+

In their continued efforts to be an advocate and resource for all Iowans, and in particular those ages 50 and older, AARP in Iowa commissioned this survey to gauge Iowans’ experience with hunger in the state and their opinion about state support for food banks. Nearly 50 million Americans (children and adults) are food insecure or at risk for hunger – facing the uncertainty of having enough food because of insufficient money or other resources to buy food. In 2011, nearly 9 million Americans age 60 and older were at risk for hunger.  In Iowa, over 395,000 people are at risk for hunger and nearly one in eight (11.97 percent) persons ages 60 and older who are food insecure. 

Key findings include:

  • Most adult Iowans view hunger as an important issue in the state, with a third saying it is a very important issue and nearly half saying it is a somewhat important issue.
  • Iowans are involved in the fight against hunger and many more would be interested in helping if asked. At least half of all adult Iowans have donated money or donated food to an organization providing food to those in need, donated food to a food drive, or gave money directly to a person, family, or neighbor in need in the last 12 months.
  • Most adults in Iowa are not aware of the number of people in the U.S. or in their state that face the risk of hunger each day.
  • Many adult Iowans have experienced food insecurity – a period when access to adequate food on a regular basis has been limited by a lack of money or resources to buy food.
  • Iowans think local government and local organizations should help reduce hunger in the state. Nearly three-quarters say both the state government and public or private organizations and individuals should help reduce the number of families at risk for hunger in Iowa.

This RDD (random digit dial) survey among 800 adults age 18 and older residing in the state of Iowa shows that the majority of Iowans (72%) think both the state government and local community organizations and individuals should work to reduce the number of families at risk for hunger in the state. This survey was conducted by Precision Opinion from September 6 to September 16, 2013. The sample was weighted by age and gender to reflect the population of adults age 18 and older residing in the state of Iowa. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207.