Hunger in America

One of the goals Barack Obama set for his presidency was the elimination of hunger among children by 2015. Whether or not he achieves that goal, Obama is the first American president even to commit to achieving it. Having said that, he has a difficult road ahead of him, because more Americans — including children — are living with hunger at least some of the time:

The number of Americans who lack dependable access to adequate food shot up last year to 49 million, the largest number since the government has been keeping track, according to a federal report released Monday that shows particularly steep increases in food scarcity among families with children.

In 2008, the report found, nearly 17 million children — more than one in five across the United States — were living in households in which food at times ran short, up from slightly more than 12 million youngsters the year before. And the number of children who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.

Among people of all ages, nearly 15 percent last year did not consistently have adequate food, compared with about 11 percent in 2007, the greatest deterioration in access to food during a single year in the history of the report.

The report — from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — is here (.pdf).

Author: KATHY KATTENBURG

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