Map showing which states have low, middle, and high levels of people not being able to afford enough food.
Nearly one in five Americans has not had enough money to buy the food they needed in the past year, a Gallup poll finds. But there are wide disparities from state to state and regionally. In North Dakota, just 9.6 percent of people have lacked enough money for food.

States where residents are most likely to struggle to afford food. Mississippi leads with 24.9% not having enough money, Alabama follows with 22.9%, Delaware with 22.1%, Georgia with 21.6%.

But if you live in Mississippi, there's a 24.9 percent chance that sometime in the past year you haven't been able to buy the food you and your family need. If you live in Alabama, it's a 22.9 percent chance. In all, there are 15 states in which at least one in five people can't always afford enough food.

Many of these people are working. Like the New Hampshire home care worker who walks as much as an hour from appointment to appointment every day, struggling with an inconsistent paycheck and a recent loss of food stamps:
Without the food stamps, she sometimes gets groceries from food pantries, but they don’t provide much of the items she needs most. In a week, she said, she might get one package of meat, enough for a single meal. When food is low, she said, she still tries to provide for the kids.

“I’m the one that’s not eating much,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard because you get dizzy from not eating.”

Or like Cheryl Preston, of Roanoke, Virginia, who writes that since her monthly income was cut by $500, and with her husband's job not always giving him 40 hours of work a week,