January Impact

Basic Human Needs

January is "Basic Human Needs" Month. Of course it’s easy to understand what “basic needs” are: the fundamental requirements that serve as the foundation for survival…clean water, shelter, clothing, food, medical care. Everyone reading this paragraph probably takes most of these things for granted. Think about it: are you ever hungry for more than an hour? Do you go thirsty longer than it takes to get to the refrigerator or faucet? And if you’re cold, you turn up the heat in your house or car or grab one of several warms jackets you own.

  • In America alone, the things we take for granted are not automatic for millions of others. Would you be shocked to learn that 45% of the country, yes, nearly half of the U.S., is unable to afford many of the basic needs?

  • According to the USDA, 12.3% of U.S. households were food insecure (meaning an uncertainty of having, or being able to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all household members) at some time during 2016. This is 15.6 million households.

  • Feeding America reports that 1 in 6 children doesn't know where they will get their next meal.

  • 84% of households also report buying the cheapest foods--instead of the healthiest--in order to provide enough to eat.

  • Children who are food insecure are most likely to require hospitalization over their childhood years and are at higher risk for chronic health conditions such as anemia and asthma. 

The Foundation has chosen January as Basic Human Needs Month so that we can help those who most need help—those in poverty, including the millions who don’t know what a full belly feels like, or have a key to their own home or who struggle to stay healthy.