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1 in 4 Can't Afford Enough Food

Children Most At Risk

 

23.4% of families with children report they have struggled to afford enough food in the last 12 months.

According to The Food Research and Action Center:

  • 368 Congressional Districts have at least one in six households with children struggling with food hardship, answering that they did not have enough money to buy needed food at times in the last 12 months. 195 Congressional Districts have a food hardship rate of at least one in four for households with children.

  • Of the 100 largest MSAs, 40 had at least one in four households with children (25 percent or more) struggling with food hardship and every one of the 100 largest MSAs had 15 percent or more of such households affirmatively answering the Gallup question.

  • In 21 states and the District of Columbia the rate for households with children reporting food hardship exceeded 25 percent.

As part of it's “Food Hardship in America,” series, FRAC has analyzed responses to the question:  “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”  Nationally in 2010, 23.4 percent of families with children and 14.9 percent without children said that “yes", they have struggled with hunger.

The full report is available here. (PDF)

 
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Hunger in Maine, New England and across the nation is at epidemic proportions, government programs are inadequate to keep people from starvation and already struggling food pantries are being weakened by increasing demand.kids_sm

According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, "More than 40% of Maine kids under the age of 12 show some evidence of hunger".   40% is a very large minority.

To make that a little more tangible - it means that 4 out of 10 Maine children will go to bed hungry some time this week.  They went to bed hungry some time last week and they'll go to bed hungry again some time next week.  Another way to think of it is walk into any Maine 5th grade classroom and count heads.  Out of, say, 30 kids, about a dozen will will go to bed hungry some time this week, as they did last week and as they'll do again next week.

Every 5 seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from starvation.  Must we wait until it escalates to that level in our own back yards before we recognize the crisis we have in America?

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