The number of people in the U.S. who are food insecure will likely skyrocket over the next year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the University of Illinois and Feeding America. 

Soaring unemployment and poverty rates may lead to record numbers of food-insecure households. 

Almost 55 million Americans could lack access to adequate food. 

Households with children are even more likely to be food insecure, and one in four children could face hunger. 

The projections for the worst-case scenario would lead to a five percent increase in the child poverty rate, potentially bringing the proportion of children in food-insecure households to 24.5 percent. 

That means 18 million children would be food insecure, which exceeds the previously measured highest total of 17.2 million during the Great Recession in 2009. 

The Impact of Coronavirus on Food Insecurity report provides detailed documentation for projected food insecurity levels at the national, state and county level, and is available at