Image showing that 1 out of 4 families in Loudoun live paycheck to paycheck, and 1 in 14 people are at risk of food insecurity.

Statistics may lag, but they don’t lie

Image showing that 1 out of 4 families in Loudoun live paycheck to paycheck, and 1 in 14 people are at risk of food insecurity.

This month, two key reports were refreshed with more recent data from 2022. They are the Feeding America Map the Meal Gap report and the United Way ALICE report.

The Feeding America Map the Meal Gap report showed the single largest percent increase in food insecurity in Loudoun in decades, and the largest ever estimated number of people in Loudoun experiencing food insecurity. The percentage of our population who may be food insecure rose from 4% in 2020 to 6.9% in 2022. With the rise Loudoun’s population, that moves the number of people who may experience food insecurity from about 17,000 to about 30,000. That’s a significant increase and rivals what we were seeing at the peak of the pandemic hardships.

The United Way ALICE report also refreshed its data this past week. ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained, employed. That describes the majority of the families we see at LHR. Each year, the United Way estimates the subsistence cost of living in each participating county nationwide for a variety of family sizes and configurations. Subsistence for the purposes of ALICE means paycheck to paycheck, with no savings or ability to save. In Loudoun County, the number of households living at subsistence increased from 20% in 2020 to 24% in 2022. In hard numbers, the count of subsistence households rose from about 28,000 to about 34,000.

Loudoun Hunger Relief is feeling the weight of these increases. More and more families are relying on support services to make their budgets work. Most make too much to qualify for federal programs like SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program or “food stamps”). But they make too little to stretch their dollars to pay the increasing costs of rent, utilities, food, clothing and transportation.

These reports give statistical support to the sobering need we are seeing in our Loudoun community. We have to keep helping people survive. The stakes for our community are high.

Translate »