Shortly after the outbreak of COVID-19, the Census Bureau launched the Household Pulse Survey, a vast initiative to measure the effects of the crisis on Americans. The bureau has released weekly results in three phases. The first began on April 23, 2020, and ended July 21, 2020. The second and third phases followed, with the current phase, 3.1, released on May 5.
The Household Pulse Survey was created by an effort across several government agencies. These include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Social Security Administration, and the USDA Economic Research Service.
Among the issues covered is food insecurity. Specifically, the survey probes the “Percentage of adults in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the last 7 days.”
The national average is 8.1%. Mississippi, at 13.5%, is the state with the highest figure. The lowest state number is Vermont’s 3.6%. Among cities, the highest figure is for Houston (17.6%) and the lowest is for Boston (4.7%).