The New Face of Hunger

by Christopher Paul on July 29, 2014

National Geographic did some research into what hunger looks like in America today:

In the United States more than half of hungry households are white, and two-thirds of those with children have at least one working adult—typically in a full-time job. With this new image comes a new lexicon: In 2006 the U.S. government replaced “hunger” with the term “food insecure” to describe any household where, sometime during the previous year, people didn’t have enough food to eat. By whatever name, the number of people going hungry has grown dramatically in the U.S., increasing to 48 million by 2012—a fivefold jump since the late 1960s, including an increase of 57 percent since the late 1990s. Privately run programs like food pantries and soup kitchens have mushroomed too. In 1980 there were a few hundred emergency food programs across the country; today there are 50,000. Finding food has become a central worry for millions of Americans. One in six reports running out of food at least once a year. In many European countries, by contrast, the number is closer to one in 20.

It is not what I thought it was. In fact, I can’t say I even had an idea of what to expect because you don’t even think that with the abundance of food, the U.S. would have people starving because they can’t afford even processed foods. And the physical appearance is also deceiving; many of those who go hungry are over weight because what little food they do eat is not all nutritional.

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