Making Justice RealThe Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Hunger has Increased with the Recession
Nearly one in five families had at least one period in 2009 in which they did not have enough money to buy adequate food. The Food Resource Action Center released an alarming report on hunger in the United States on January 26, 2010. The report is based on surveys conducted in every State and Congressional district of nearly 650,000 people. The findings include:
- 18.5% of households answered yes to the “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” Those answering yes are considered “food insecure” or experience “food hardship.”
- The rate of food insecurity shot up to 24.1% if there were children in the household. This means that one in four children is at risk for not getting enough to eat despite school lunch and food stamps.
- If the District were treated as a State, it would be ranked 15, with 20.8% of families not having adequate money to reliably secure nutrition. Only 11 metropolitan areas are worse off than the District in this regard.
- If just households with children are considered, the District is the worst in the nation. More than four in ten District households with children experience food hardship. Mississippi is the next closest at 33%.
As we have previously written in this blog, DC has the tools to begin to tackle this problem. The District is authorized to expand food stamp eligibility to 200% of poverty and to provide evening meals through the school lunch program.
Further information is availalbe in a terrific commentary on the FRAC report and the effects on DC families.