< Back to In the News

What do Americans Think about Fixing the Food Crisis?


How is it that 50 million people in the United States – one of the richest countries on the planet – do not know where their next meal is coming from? This situation, known as “food insecurity,” is absolutely outrageous.

And while legions of terrific nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups deliver much-needed food assistance daily, and advocacy organizations work with policy-makers to change the system, we wondered: What do everyday Americans think about food insecurity? How widely is it understood, and what are their thoughts about solving it?

So as part of the Social Action campaign for our film A Place at the Table, we polled a representative sample of just over 1,000 people across the country to find out.

In our new study “Food Insecurity in America: US Public Opinion About Hunger and Obesity” some of the answers from our fellow citizens surprised us:

- 4 out of 5 think food insecurity is a problem in America, and nearly 3/4 said government is not doing enough to solve address it

- Women and minorities are most impacted by food insecurity, and also most interested in taking action to solve it

- More than 2/3 think food insecurity is related to obesity, and that this link will contribute to rising healthcare costs

- More than 90% of Americans have contributed money, food or time to help those who are hungry

- Most people (51%) go online to find out how to help, and 72% said they would use a website that served as a “one-stop shop” for ways to get involved

Download full report here!

That last point – the one about wanting a “one-stop shop” online – is why we just launched a first-of-its-kind National Action Center that does just that with a great group of non-profit organizations, including Bread for the World, Feeding America,Food Research and Action Center and Share our Strength. We’re collecting actions from all over the country that people can take to fight hunger and alleviate food insecurity in their communities and nationwide.

But as our study shows, the problem of food insecurity is broad, and it is deep: it affects 50 million Americans every day. Every day!

However, there is hope! Solutions do exist from dozens of organizations who are working to end food insecurity in this country once and for all. They are the great groups adding actions you can take to the National Action Center. And as you see inA Place at the Table, we’ve come together as a nation to virtually solve food insecurity before, in the late 1960s under President Richard Nixon.

So it’s time to come together, and do it again!

See the Social Action campaign press release about the National Action Center here.

Chad Boettcher, Executive Vice President, Social Action & Advocacy

Press Contact


All interview and appearance requests, or other press inquires, should be directed to our Communications team.

Find a Press Contact

Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.