Food insecurity--and empty refrigerators--can be a significant problem for many Americans.
USDA’s latest study, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2012,” found that 14.5% of American households were food insecure, at least sometime during the year in 2012, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
There was little change compared to data gathered in 2011. The study found that:
· 5.7% of U.S. households (7.0 million households) had very low food security.
· Children were food insecure at times during the year in 10% of households.
· Rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average for households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men, and Black and Hispanic households.
· Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas when compared to suburban areas and exurban areas around large cities.
· Fifty-nine percent of food-insecure households in the survey reported that in the previous month, they had participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and National School Lunch Program).
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “Food insecurity remains a very real challenge for millions of Americans. Today’s report underscores the importance of programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that have helped keep food insecurity from rising, even during the economic recession. As the recovery continues and families turn to USDA nutrition programs for help to put good food on the table, this is not the time for cuts to the SNAP program that would disqualify millions of Americans and threaten a rise in food insecurity.”
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