Washington, DC, October 11, 2019 — Most American parents in their early to late thirties believe that food insecurity is an important issue to solve, according to a new Ipsos poll. This poll was conducted among parents between the ages of 30 and 38. It offered respondents the following definition of food insecurity: “Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.”
Few parents know how many Americans actually suffer from food insecurity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 8 do. Just 28% correctly guessed this figure, while a third (32%) said 1 in 4, and another third (32%) estimate 1 in 12 or fewer.
Most parents agree that food insecurity is an important problem which they would be willing to help address. The vast majority also agree that everyone can play a part in improving food insecurity (92%) and that it is an important problem to solve (90%). The majority also agree they can do something to help others who are food insecure (85%), and that they would do more to address the problem if they had more time (83%).
- Fathers are more likely than mothers to believe there are things they can do to help those who are food insecure (88% of men agree, compared to 82% of women) and to report that they would do more to help if they had more time (88% of men vs. 80% of women).
- Wealthier parents are also more likely to feel this way: 92% of parents with a household income of $100,000 or more agree there are things they can do to help food-insecure people, compared to 81% of those in the lowest income group (under $50,000), and 84% of those in the middle-income group.
- Wealthier parents are also the most likely to see time as a constraint against helping with food insecurity. Parents with a household income of $100,000 or more are 8 percentage points more likely to say they would do more to help food-insecure people if they had more time than those the middle-income group (90% of high-income parents compared to 82% of middle-income parents) and 9 percentage points more likely than parents in the lowest income group (81%).
When it comes to specific actions to address food insecurity, 91% of respondents say they are somewhat likely or very likely to want to help people affected by this problem. They are more willing to donate their money than their time to this cause: virtually all report it is likely they would donate to a local food bank (93%) or drop off canned goods at a food drive (96%), while fewer (78%) say they would be likely to volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen.
The top two ways that parents believe that they can help their fellow citizens are better education about the negative consequences of food insecurity (54%) and information on how to get involved (54%). These are closely followed in support levels by the solutions of better education on what causes food insecurity and how to fight it (52%) and improved education on how widespread the issue is (50%). The possible solutions with the least amount of support - providing information on which organizations work to fight food insecurity (48%) and having more time and opportunities to get involved (46%) - still have support from almost half of all respondents. Only 2% of respondents say an option besides these would best address the problem.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 3 - 6, 2019. The study was conducted among 1,013 U.S. parents, aged 30-38. Sample is balanced to be reflective of demographics of the target group.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,013, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).
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