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USDA Food Security Report Shows Millions Continue to Struggle with Hunger

Washington, DC, September 4, 2013

New data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that 14.5 percent of Americans lived in food insecure households in 2012. This number has remained essentially unchanged for the past four years. Food insecure households are those that often don’t know where their next meal will come from.    

“Poverty and high unemployment have persisted, but food insecurity rates have not increased significantly since 2008,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The fact that 49 million people in this country continue to struggle to put food on the table is unconscionable. Federal safety net programs are essential in helping to keep hunger at bay for millions of families.”

According to the USDA report, nearly 16 million children—or more than one in five—lived in food insecure households in 2012. The figures also showed that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) provided assistance to 42 percent of food insecure households. 

This report comes just as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill that would cut SNAP by $40 billion. “With nearly one in six Americans living in food insecure households, now is not the time to slash SNAP,” said Beckmann. “Cutting $40 billion from SNAP would remove as many as 6 million people from the program. This is unacceptable.”

All SNAP households will see their monthly benefits reduced on Nov. 1.  The House is still proposing to cut SNAP by $40 billion, and Congress is still in the process of passing a farm bill. 

“We pray that Congress will enact a fair and responsible farm bill that protects poor and hungry people. We must remind members of Congress that they have a moral obligation to protect federal safety net programs. We cannot turn our backs on the 49 million Americans that live in food insecure households,” Beckmann concluded.

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

Media Contact:

Christopher Ford, Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1077


Fito Moreno, Media Relations Specialist, 202-688-1138


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