Facts on Hunger, Food Assistance, Poverty and
Income in Our Service Area
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank provides food and non-food items to nearly 700 programs in our six county service area, consisting of Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Richland Counties.
One in six residents from our six county service area was food insecure in 2011 (17%). That’s a total of 321,280 people. More than one in five children from our service area lived in a food insecure household in 2011 (21.5%). That’s almost 94,000 children.
Cuyahoga County had the highest number of food insecure residents in the state of Ohio in 2011, at approximately 240,640 individuals. Cuyahoga County was also home to the largest number of food insecure children in the state of Ohio, at 62,100 children.
Want to see what hunger looks like in your area? Click here to see how many meals went missing in your community in 2011.
Food Assistance (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP)
SNAP benefits lifted 4 million Americans above the poverty line in 2012. Average monthly SNAP usage in Ohio increased by 68% between 2007 and 2012, from 1.07 million recipients to 1.80 million recipients. At the same time, unemployment in Ohio increased by 28.6%, from 5.6% in 2007 to 7.2% in 2012.
In 2012 half of Ohio households receiving SNAP benefits (50.7%) contained children under 18. The median income for an Ohio household receiving SNAP benefits in 2012 was $15,961, compared to $53,671 for a household not receiving SNAP benefits. About 38% of food assistance recipients in Cuyahoga County lived in a suburban area in the third quarter of 2013 (the last quarter for which data are available).
Want to learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program? Click here to read more about households that receive SNAP benefits across the United States.
Poverty and Income
Between the years of 2009 and 2011 in our six county service area, approximately 297,000 people lived in poverty. More than 3.9 million Ohioans lived below 200% of poverty in 2012, equaling more than 1 in 3 Ohioans (34.8%). This was an increase of more than 500,000 Ohioans from 2007, or an increase of 15.6%.
From the first year of the recession in 2008 until 2012, Ohio’s median household income decreased from $50,790 to $46,829. In order to afford the 2013 Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Ohio ($717) without spending more than 30% of gross income on housing costs, a worker earning minimum wage must work 70 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. This is the equivalent of 1.8 minimum wage jobs.
Want to learn more about poverty and income in your area? Click here to explore poverty, income, and general population statistics for your community.
More children lived in poverty in Ohio’s suburbs and rural areas in 2012 than in Ohio’s central cities (359,554 children in rural and suburban areas compared to 261,367 in central cities). Ohio’s central cities had the second highest child poverty rate of the 50 states and D.C., with a central city child poverty rate of 42.8%. The only state with a higher central city poverty rate was Mississippi, at 45.7%.
In 2012 more than one in four Cuyahoga County children lived in poverty (26.9%), while almost half of children lived below 200% of poverty (49%). In 2012 more than half of Cleveland children (52.6%) lived below poverty, while more than four in five (81.8%) lived below 200% of poverty.
Want to learn more about child poverty and well-being in Ohio? Click here to explore child well-being indicators in Ohio and throughout the United States.
Click here to download a PDF copy of these statistics complete with sources.