National Food Insecurity
Latest numbers from the USDA show that fifty million people from 17.9 million households across the country were food insecure at one time or another in 2011. For a great number of us who are more fortunate, that seems an unbelievably high number. In reality, those numbers are probably much higher. Many people suffering from food insecurity are too proud to admit it and suffer in silence. Some of those in food insecure households are able to cope by eating diets that are highly restricted and less varied, others participate in federal food assistance programs, or receive help from local food banks. These households include 8.6 million children. Interestingly, it’s reported that these children were often protected from substantial food reductions by the adults in the household, and that households headed by single women had the highest prevalence of food insecurity. Even more interesting is that this report came out just a day after the USDA announced that a record number of people, 46.7 million, received food stamps in June, but only fifty-seven percent of food insecure households report participating in federal food programs.