1 in 6 Americans at risk for hunger

Today the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA) released a startling new report indicating that more than 50 million Americans, including more than 17 million children, are food insecure.

What is Food Security?

  • Access by all members, at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.
  • Availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food
  • Ability to acquire food in socially-acceptable ways

What is Food Insecurity?

  • Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally-adequate and safe food
  • Limited or uncertain ability to acquire food in socially-acceptable ways

50 million Americans have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. And one in four American children was at risk of hunger in 2009. Data from the report was collected by the U.S. government in December 2009. The report is a sobering reminder of how many of our fellow Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.

Some key highlights of the report:

  • In 2009, 50.2 million (16.6%) Americans lived in food insecure households. 
  • In 2009, 17.4 million (14.7 %) American households were food insecure.  
  • In 2009, 8.4 million (21.3%) households with children were living in food insecure households.   
  • In 2009, 17.2 million (23.2%) children were living in food insecure households. 
  • In 2009, 2.2 million (7.5%) households with seniors were living in food insecure households.
  • In 2009, 884,000 (7.8%) seniors living alone were living in food insecure households.

The report also shows that 4 million more Americans participated in the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2009. These food benefits provided a much-needed safety net for American families. The report confirms that congress must pass the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307) and restore cuts to the SNAP program before the session adjourns.  

With nearly one in four Delawareans struggling with hunger each year, the time to take action is now. Whether you sign the online petition to congress urging them to pass the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, start a food drive or donate through our virtual food drive, every little bit will go a long way in our fight against hunger. Hunger does not discriminate against age, color, weight or height. It’s affecting a senior citizen living off a small social security check, moms and dads who recently lost their jobs, families suffering from an illness and single-parent households working to make ends meet on one income.

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Filed under Advocate, Children's Nutrition, Hunger, Poverty, Programs

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