New Hunger Numbers Signal Need for Child Nutrition ReauthorizationBy Meghan McHugh
November 15, 2010
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released their annual food security report, "Household Food Security in the United States, 2009” outlying the most recent numbers for food insecurity (most commonly referred to in layman’s terms as hunger). The report found that 17.4 million households in America had difficulty providing enough food due to lack of resources, this number held steady from 2008. Additionally, the report details that 50 million Americans, including more than 17 million children, are food insecure –which means these children lack consistent access to a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
Childhood hunger remains critically high, with 1 in 4 children at risk of hunger in the United States in 2009. The USDA also found that:
- 1 million more low-income children received free or reduced price lunches on an average school day (a 5.4 percent increase) in 2009
- Over 400,000 more low-income women, infants, and children participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC)
- 57 percent of the families in the survey are enrolled in one or more of the USDA funded feeding programs (such as SNAP, the school meals program and WIC)
- And 1 in 4 households have at least one family member participating in an USDA feeding program, up from 1 in 5 just two years ago
As our economy continues to recover from the recession, this report highlights the importance of passing a strong child nutrition reauthorization bill that includes improvement to the school meals program and WIC, among other programs. Our children cannot continue to wait for the significant and critical improvements that will be made through the child nutrition reauthorization. We urge Congress to pass a child nutrition reauthorization before they adjourn for the year.
- Feeding America, one of our national partners, is hosting a National Call-In Day on November 15th and 16th. You can call 1-877-698-8228 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Representative and urge them to take action on child nutrition before the end of the 111th Congress.
- Find a local Food Bank
- Walmart’s “Fighting Hunger Together” Campaign started today. Walmart has made a commitment to donate $2 billion by 2015 to the fight against hunger in America. This holiday, they're asking you to decide where $1.5 million should go.
For More Information on Food Insecurity and Child Nutrition: