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Hunger in America Today

The challenge of having enough to eat intensifies in these hard economic times

free food giveaway for seniors

Senior food give away. Dallas, TX. — Christopher Anderson/ Magnum

The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression may have bottomed out, but many people still struggle through the slow and spotty recovery. The hardest hit face an appalling prospect: going hungry because they don't have enough money to buy food.

 

Even before the downturn, more than 5 million Americans age 60-plus worried about being able to put food on the table, according to a sweeping 2008 report called The Causes, Consequences, and Future of Senior Hunger in America, funded by Meals on Wheels. Examining census data from 2000 through 2005, the report found that more than 750,000 seniors skipped meals or went without eating for an entire day because they couldn't afford food.

The downturn made things even worse. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2007, only 11 percent of households were struggling to put food on the table. In 2008, that number jumped to 14.6 percent and edged up again to 14.7 percent last year — the highest number ever recorded since surveys began in 1995. … Back to Article

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