No One in America Should Wonder About The Next Meal
This month, the US Department of Agriculture announced its latest statistics on food security, attempting to determine just how many Americans struggle with providing food for themselves and their families. Key findings are here:
In 2016, 87.7 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 12.3 percent (15.6 million households) were food insecure. Food-insecure households (those with low and very low food security) had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.
In 2016, 4.9 percent of U.S. households (6.1 million households) had very low food security, essentially unchanged from 5.0 percent in 2015. In this more severe range of food insecurity, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources.
Children were food insecure at times during the year in 8.0 percent of U.S. households with children (3.1 million households), essentially unchanged from 7.8 percent in 2015. These households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children. As in 2015, the 2016 prevalence of food insecurity among children was near the pre-recession level of 8.3 percent in 2007.
Most Americans are well-fed and that's great. But this year’s report shows frustratingly slow progress on a most important measure — very low food security — which represents a portion of impoverished Americans whose economic prospects are improving at too sluggish a pace.
These numbers point to a lingering need to get Americans back to pre-recession labor participation levels, so that fewer Americans will struggle to put food on the table