Hunger in America rises by 43 percent over last five years

Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today. The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999.

The USDA report, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004, says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999.

“This is an unexpected and even stunning outcome,” noted center director Dr. J. Larry Brown, a leading scholarly authority on domestic hunger. “This chronic level of hunger so long after the recession ended means that it is a man-made problem. Congress and the White House urgently need to address growing income inequality and the weakening of the safety net in order to get this epidemic under control.” According to the Center on Hunger and Poverty, food insecurity increased by nearly a million households from 2003 to 2004. Rates of hunger increased in almost every single category of household during the same time, with single mothers and those living in or near poverty continuing to suffer from severely high rates of both food insecurity and hunger.

California, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Carolina all have food insecurity and hunger rates that are significantly higher than the national average. The lone bright spot in the nation is Oregon. Once considered to have the worst hunger in the country, Oregon has shown significant decreases in food insecurity and hunger since 1999-2001.

“With this astonishing level of food deprivation in America,” Brown concluded, “we need President Bush to step up to the plate. If he now asks Congress to cut federal food programs, hunger will increase even further. We need the moral leadership to stem this crisis.”

From Brandeis University

2 COMMENTS

  1. We all know the world is sufering from hunger but who would think of all countries the usa is in horible standings and continues to increase every year im only 15 and i know just how messed up this is cus i used to go through the same as millions of people still do now probably close to 40 million in just the usa alone we are litteraly pulling our selves to hell and we dont even care or thats how it looks anyways cuz i havent seen anyone except my girlfriend who seems to care about were and who our nation ends up being ruled by i mean china could easily take controle of us all they gotta do is pull all there products off our shelves and refuse to supply us with any of there items till we pledge aligiance to them and i and houndreds of others know this to be true and millions of you set in your home prettending nothings happening and if any of you want to talk to me some more on the subject this is my email address “[email protected] my name is jose and like i said im 15 and would like to know what you all think about what i have said today gooday and thank you for your time in reading this

  2. Although the numbers of hungry may have increased since 1999, one of the main reasons this increase is occuring is drug addiction. Drug addictions lower people’s appetites, siphon off money meant for food, and destroy incomes and family stability. Parents strung out on drugs have neither the money, will, nor inclination to care about their own eating habits, and their children’s food needs are of even less concern.

    The rise of hunger in the USA could be lowered by better anti-drug messages, harsher penalties for and better enforcement of existing drug laws, efficient border enforcement to cut off or at least cut down the drug supplies, and quicker child protection measures for those unfortunate children living with drug addicted parents or guardians.

    Cut hunger by cutting drug use. We can take care of the needy who are hungry because of circumstances beyond their control, but we can’t take care of a nation consumed by drug use induced hunger.

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