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Federal food insecurity data for 2018, released September 4, 2019, indicates that 11.1 percent of U.S. households—37.2 million people—were food insecure (at some point during the year, they did not know where their next meals were coming from).
In 2018, food insecurity finally fell to its pre-Great Recession levels, and it is now significantly lower than its recession peak of 14.9 percent in 2011. But at this rate, the United States will not end hunger until 2034.
Even though some are doing better than others, all are affected by one or more of seven measures of health, income, and opportunity that are highly correlated with food insecurity. The hungriest states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. Food insecurity rates vary considerably by state, from 7.8 percent in New Hampshire to 16.8 percent in New Mexico.
Food insecurity among households with children declined significantly last year, from 15.7 percent in 2017 to 13.9 percent in 2018. The number of children affected, 11.2 million, is still far too high but it has fallen well below the 12 million children facing hunger in 2007, the last pre-Great Recession year.
The new USDA report indicates that African Americans have not made progress on food insecurity for the past two years, and food insecurity has not fallen below pre-Great Recession levels. Food insecurity among African American households is nearly double the national rate and triple the rate of white households. In addition, food insecurity among Latino households is double the rate of white households.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.