Hunger isn’t limited to the developing world, or to poor parts of the United States. Hunger is in every county in every state across the country. And it’s in our county, which boasts substantial wealth and grows much of the state’s fresh produce.

1 in 5 overall

1 in 5 people

1 in 4 children

1 in 4 children

In Santa Cruz County, 1 in 5 face the threat of hunger. And for children the risk is even higher:  1 in 4.


More than Empty Stomachs

Going hungry is about more than empty stomachs and hunger pangs. People forced to skip meals also miss out on the nutrients their bodies need–adults can’t perform their jobs well and children can’t concentrate in school. And scarce resources mean the food they can afford is often high in calories and low in nutrition–such diets are behind the dramatic rise in obesity and related chronic diseases like diabetes, which are further harming low-income families and individuals, taxing the health care system, and raising the cost of health care for everyone.

A major study on diabetes prevention by the National Institutes of Health found that when people change their diet to lose weight and become more active, it can be more effective than medication in preventing the disease. Learn how Second Harvest’s nutrition programs are fighting hunger and tackling chronic disease