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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/9/10

Growing Hunger in America

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Growing Hunger in America - by Stephen Lendman


In January 2010, Feeding America (FA, formerly America's Second Harvest) released its disturbing new report on growing hunger titled, "Hunger in America 2010." The Chicago-based organization is the nation's "leading domestic hunger-relief charity," serving the needy "through a nationwide network of member food banks, over 200 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico."


Its study is based on interviews with over 62,000 clients served by the FA network, as well as information provided by 37,000 FA agencies - emergency food providers, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters for short-term residents.


FA's system serves an estimated 37 million people annually, up 46% since 2005, including 33.9 million pantry users, 1.8 million kitchen ones, and 1.3 million in shelters.


About 5.7 million people (or 1 in 50) get emergency food aid from the system in any given week, an increase of 27% since 2005, and one in eight Americans (37 million people, including 14 million children and three million seniors) are food insecure, meaning they don't get enough to eat. As a result, they need emergency help from food banks throughout the country. The latest data represent "a staggering 46 percent increase since" FA's 2006 study.


"Indeed, the existence of so many people without secure access to adequate nutritious food represents a serious national concern....More than one in three client households are experiencing very low food security - or hunger - a 54 percent increase" compared to 2006.


FA calls food insecurity "a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that varies along a continuum of successive stages as it becomes more severe." In contrast, food security enables "access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, health life."


FA agencies serve households across America:


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