Approximately 14.9% of Americans -- 50 million people, including 17 million children -- are hungry, or "food insecure," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a report that was just released.
This means that one of six Americans live in a household that is food insecure -- 17.9 million households, USDA reported. Of this, 6.8 million households have low to very low food security, USDA said, noting that the number of households in low to very low food security has returned to the levels experienced in the 2008-09 recession.
USDA said the prevalence of low to very low food security is greatest for households in which women are living alone, Black households and households with incomes below 185% of the U.S. poverty line.
USDA said typically these households, last year, experienced food insecurity "for a few days" each month for seven months of the year.
Although the 2008-09 recession is supposedly over, more than 50 million Americans "are still struggling to feed their families," said Matt Knott, Feeding America interim chief executive officer and president.
Actually, the situation has worsened, he said, pointing to how 36 million people were food insecure in 2007, a number that increased to 50 million in 2008 and has held there even in the economic recovery over the last four years.
Knott called on Congress to reconsider funding reduction and "harmful program changes" in USDA feeding programs that are being proposed for the 2012 farm bill that would cause "hundreds of thousands of families" to have their nutrition assistance reduced if not completely eliminated.
He reminded Congress that the U.S. unemployment rate remains higher than 8.0% and that food and gasoline prices are increasing...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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