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Food hardship among unemployed adults almost tripled between 2010 and 2013.

In a telephone survey, King County adults were asked how often in the past 12 months (never, sometimes, or often) their food didn’t last and they didn’t have money to buy more. Answers of “sometimes” or “often” are indicators of food hardship. Because food hardship increased dramatically in just 3 years, line charts are used to show patterns of change across groups. 

In 2013, more than half of adults who were unable to work and more than 4 in 10 who were unemployed reported that household food often or sometimes did not last. 

  • Both of these groups reported food hardship at a rate that was higher than the King County average (13%).
  • The 43% rate of food hardship for adults who were unemployed represents a significant increase from the 16% of unemployed adults who reported food hardship in 2010.
  • In 2010, only 4% of retirees reported running out of food, significantly lower than the King County average of 8%.  In 2013, 9% of retirees reported running out food, a rate that did not differ from the King County average.