November 16, 2009
Who’s Eating: Food Insecurity in the U.S.
First the good news – According to a new USDA report, 85 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2008, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Unfortunately the other side of that number means that the remaining households (14.6 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security. In those cases, the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Single moms, blacks, and Hispanics were more likely to experience some degree of insecurity. As a candidate President Obama pledged to end hunger among children by 2015. The USDA now plans to utilize $85 million on programs that serve children dependant on schools for breakfast and lunch. As Congress considers healthcare and possible stimulus packages and tax cut extensions, $85 million starts to look awfully small. Somewhere in the mix, Congress and the USDA need to implement more programs and policies specifically geared toward our children.