Just under 25 million American adults have experienced food insecurity at some point during the past three months according to an analysis of national surveys conducted by Zogby Analytics. I have closely examined interviews we have done with 10,278 adults nationwide since June and found a stunning 10.1% who said that “they have gone without food for 24 hours at a time in the past month because of a lack of money or food”. Extrapolated from a total adult population of over 244 million people (estimated in 2014), that makes it about 24.7 million Americans age 18 or over.

This is not new turf for us at Zogby Analytics. We have been asking this food insecurity question for 25 years now and the trend line has gotten decidedly worse since the early 1990s. Those who have gone hungry at some point recently include slightly more men (11%) than women (9%) and include those who are working full-time or part-time (12%), those not employed (13%), students (9%), and the retired (4%).

Younger Americans are hardest hit – 16% of 18 to 29 year olds and 13% of 30 to 49 year olds – than those 50-64 (6%) and those over 65 (2%). Democrats (14%) are twice as likely as Republicans (7%) to have reached this stage, while 9% of independents fall into this category. Those who identified as liberals (18%) are also about twice as likely as conservatives (7%) and moderates (8%). Seven percent each of whites and Asians have gone without food, but so too have 14% of African Americans and 26% of Hispanics.

Catholics are more likely than Protestants (14% to 8%), but 14% of Jews are in this category. (Our sub-sample of 295 Jews is significant enough statistically to report). More than one in three current members of the National Rifle Association (35%) have gone hungry, as have 17% who live in a household where there is an active or retired member of the armed services. Almost one in five (18%) of those who identified as LGBT are as well.

Food insecurity also impacts those in households earning $100,000-$150,000 last year (10%) and those earning over $150,000 (13%). Do you wonder how? I have been polling 31 years now professionally and have noted many times the households with 14-15 people and 8 adults working for minimum wage. Or those where someone was making more and has had to adjust to a lower wage.

There have been many victims of the recent troubled economy. Thus, of those who told us that they have lost a job due to corporate downsizing or workplace shutdown, 46% have gone without food for 24 hours or more in the past month during this period. So, also, have 32% of those who say they afraid of losing their job within the next 12 months and 29% who work at a job that pays less than their immediate previous job.