Tough times leaving more Americans hungry

By Michelle Anderson • Published: February 8th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Despite being one of the world’s wealthiest nations, millions of Americans are hungry.

In fact, the federal government announced recently that forty-nine million… or one in seven… Americans struggled to get enough to eat in 2008.

While eighty-five percent of Americans were deemed food secure, the rate of food insecurity reported is the highest recorded since 1995, when the United States Department of Agriculture issued its first report on national food security.

The latest report was based on a December 2008 study, soon after the country’s economy began to falter and unemployment rates went up.

According to the report, more than fourteen percent of American households had trouble getting enough food because of a lack of resources. That was up three-point-five percent from 2007, when eleven percent of American households were what the government calls “food insecure.”

And almost six percent of households were classified as having very low food security. That means some members of the household simply must eat less. In those households, food typically runs short for a few days in seven or eight months of the year.

Responding to the report, anti-hunger groups urged government officials to make it easier for children to get free school meals and to push schools to make those meals more nutritious.

Other findings from the report show that more children and seniors were living in food-insecure households in 2008 than in 2007.

Advocates for food-assistance groups say the report shows why it’s important for Americans to be generous with donations all year long.

Someone’s next meal may depend on it.