Older Americans Facing Hunger

Hunger receded after the recession but not for older Americans, U.S. figures show, By Peter Whoriskey, August 17, 2017, Washington Post: “Since the recession, many measurements of the U.S. economy improved: The stock market rallied, unemployment fell and the number of Americans worried about getting enough food began to drop. Yet for all that, one important measure has lagged. The proportion of people over 60 deemed to be ‘facing hunger’ – based on their answers to a U.S. Census survey –  has been on a steady climb that began in 2001 and has plateaued but not dropped in recent years, according to a report released Wednesday…”

Rural Food Insecurity

In some rural counties, hunger is rising, but food donations aren’t, By Pam Fessler, May 22, 2017, National Public Radio: “One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.  Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long…”

Homelessness and Hunger in U.S. Cities

  • Homelessness declining in nation’s cities, but hunger is on the rise, By Octavio Blanco, December 14, 2016, CNN Money: “Even though homelessness in America’s cities continues to decline, food banks and pantries are still being stretched thin as the number of people seeking emergency food assistance climbs, according to a survey of mayors from 38 of the nation’s cities.  The number of people seeking emergency food assistance increased by an average of 2% in 2016, the United States Conference of Mayors said in its annual report Wednesday…”
  • Charleston’s homeless and hunger problems ranked against other cities, By Robert Behre, December 15, 2016, Post and Courier: “Charleston saw a 6 percent increase in requests for emergency food assistance last year — more than the national average — and local governments and nonprofits distributed almost 1,500 tons of food.  Those statistics are from the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Annual 2016 Hunger and Homelessness Report released Wednesday…”
  • D.C. has the highest homeless rate of 32 U.S. cities, a new survey finds, By Justin Wm. Moyer, December 14, 2016, Washington Post: “The District had the highest rate of homelessness in a new survey that looked at the problem in 32 U.S. cities. The ‘Hunger and Homelessness’ survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that D.C. has 124.2 homeless people for every 10,000 residents in the general population. The city also had one of the fastest increases in homelessness between 2009 and 2016, with a 34.1 percent gain. By comparison, New York had the largest increase during that period, at 49 percent…”

Rural Food Insecurity

Small Iowa town a window Into hunger problem in rural US, By Scott McFetridge (AP), October 12, 2016, ABC News: “Storm Lake, Iowa, appears the picture of economic health, a place where jobs are plentiful, the unemployment rate hovers near 3 percent, busy shops fill century-old brick buildings and children ride bikes on tree-lined sidewalks that end in the glare of its namesake lake.  But there’s a growing problem in the northwest Iowa city of 11,000, one that’s familiar to rural areas around the country: Thousands of working families and elderly residents don’t have enough money to feed themselves or their children. The issue persists even as national poverty rates have declined in the past year and prices for many food staples have dropped slightly…”

Teen Hunger in the US

  • 13 percent of U.S. reports household hunger. How do teens cope?, By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, September 12, 2016, PBS NewsHour: “Teenagers as young as 13 all too often play an active role in feeding their families, many taking jobs when they can or selling their possessions to help raise money for food, researchers found in a detailed look at hunger among adolescents. In extreme cases, teens resorted to crime and sexual favors in exchange for nourishment.  Yet, according to the research, many cringed at the thought of using a local food bank…”
  • Some hungry teens turn to crime, sex for food, By Ryan W. Miller, September 13, 2016, USA Today: “Shoplifting, stealing and selling their bodies for sex. When hunger hits, some desperate teens in the U.S. are turning to extreme options to provide food for their families, says new research released Monday from Feeding America and the Urban Institute.  Two new reports, ‘Bringing Teens to the Table’ and ‘Impossible Choices,’ document how widespread hunger is afflicting American teenagers, a demographic often overlooked in conversations about food security. About one in five children under 18 — including 6.8 million youths ages 10 to 17 — live in a household with limited or uncertain access to food, the research shows…”
  • The hidden epidemic of teen hunger, By Laura Bliss, September 13, 2016, The Atlantic: “A few years back, Susan J. Popkin was investigating sexual-health interventions in public housing in Washington D.C. The veteran housing and poverty researcher got wind of stories from parents that some teenagers in the community were essentially trading sex for food. ‘We were stunned to hear it,’ she says.  The problem of child hunger is a vast one—one in five American children live in food-insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But most of the resources and research are directed toward younger children; adolescents at the upper end of the age spectrum often get overlooked…”

Food Insecurity in the US

  • U.S. hunger risk rate falls to lowest since before recession, By Alan Bjerga, September 7, 2016, Bloomberg: “A measure used as a proxy for hunger in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest since before the Great Recession, the government said, as the number of Americans on food stamps remains high.  About 42.2 million Americans struggled to afford or obtain adequate nutrition at some point in 2015, a 12 percent drop from 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in an annual survey released Wednesday…”
  • Number of hungry U.S. kids drops to lowest level since before Great Recession, By Pam Fessler, September 7, 2016, National Public Radio: “It’s rare to get good news when it comes to hunger. But the government says there was a big drop last year in the number of people in the country struggling to get enough to eat, especially children.  Overall, 15.8 million U.S. households, or 12.7 percent, experienced what the government calls ‘food insecurity’ at some point during 2015. That’s compared to about 17.4 million households — or 14 percent — in 2014, according to a new report by the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service…”

Food Insecurity – Missouri

Report shows more Missourians experiencing hunger, biggest increase in country, By Michele Munz, April 27, 2016, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The percentage of households experiencing hunger in Missouri has more than doubled in the last decade, the highest increase in the country, according to a report released Wednesday by the University of Missouri…”

Food Insecurity in Maine

  • Persistent hunger fuels sprawling food supply system for needy Mainers, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “A multimillion-dollar food distribution network is expanding in Maine to meet the needs of more than 200,000 residents who otherwise would be hungry, a condition that’s worsening despite an overall improving economy. Federal figures show the level of food insecurity, a measure of a household’s inability to afford enough food throughout the year, has been escalating in Maine to a level that’s the highest in New England and above the national average. The latest government survey shows roughly 16 percent of Maine households are food-insecure, compared to a national average of 14 percent. Hunger relief advocates blame a combination of reasons, including stagnant wages, Maine’s higher cost of living and an aging population…”
  • Hunger drives more Mainers to soup kitchens, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “A handful of people were lined up at dusk in the 29-degree chill behind the Calvary United Methodist Church on a recent Wednesday, waiting for the door to open so they could eat. Each Wednesday evening and Sunday morning, 50 or more people come to the Calvary City Mission for a free, hot meal in a warm place…”
  • Food that has lost its looks doesn’t have to go to waste, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “Brian Cunningham comes to work at 4 a.m. to squeeze peppers and tomatoes. It takes Cunningham, the produce shift leader at Hannaford supermarket in Westbrook, two hours to perform a ‘deep cull,’ in which he scrutinizes or handles the cornucopia that greets shoppers in the modern American food store…”
  • Food pantries filling critical need, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “Portland has gained a national reputation as a ‘foodie’ town, where the latest restaurant openings are followed with interest. Less publicized, in a city which also had 14 food pantries or free meal programs last year, was the launch of a new place that’s attracting a loyal following. It happened last August, when members of the Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland sensed a need in their suburban corner of the city, which borders Westbrook. So they started a modest food pantry. By the end of December, they were regularly serving 173 families every Wednesday afternoon…”

Baby Boomers and Food Insecurity

8 million Baby Boomers face hunger in USA, report finds, By Lori Grisham, July 9, 2015, USA Today: “At least 8 million Baby Boomers are facing hunger in the USA and may be more vulnerable to food insecurity than their older peers, according to areport released Thursday from the food bank network Feeding America and funded by AARP Foundation. ‘Hunger is an invisible problem that millions of older Americans battle silently every day,’ AARP Foundation president Lisa Marsh Ryerson said in a statement. “We have found that the ‘youngest old’ tend to suffer the most, often having to skimp on meals or skip them altogether because they can¹t afford them,’ she wrote.  The ‘youngest old’ are Baby Boomers or adults from the ages of 50 to 64…”

UN Zero Hunger Challenge

A road map for eradicating world hunger, By Beth Gardiner, June 24, 2015, New York Times: “A lot has changed in Ethiopia since hundreds of thousands of people died in the famine of the mid-1980s. Rates of undernourishment have plummeted in the past 25 years, child mortality is down by two-thirds and 90 percent of children go to primary school. Now, the country whose name was once a byword for hunger is part of a global effort to end it entirely. Around the world, nations as varied as Brazil, Cambodia, Iran and the Philippines have reported progress toward the goals of the Zero Hunger Challenge, a campaign that the United Nations began in 2012. The campaign’s ambitious target of eradicating hunger, experts say, helps lend structure and clarity to efforts to ensure that even the very poorest have enough to eat and to make food systems more resilient in the face of climate change, droughts, floods and other pressures…”

UN Hunger Report

  • U.N. reports about 200 million fewer hungry people than in 1990, By Rick Gladstone, May 27, 2015, New York Times: “The number of hungry people globally has declined from about one billion 25 years ago to about 795 million today, or about one person out of every nine, despite a surge in population growth, the United Nations reported Wednesday.
  • Number of African countries facing severe food shortages doubles, By Nicholas Bariyo, May 28, 2015, Wall Street Journal: “The number of African countries facing severe food shortages has doubled over the past two decades, as extreme weather conditions, natural disasters and insurgencies disrupt farming across the continent, aid agencies said on Thursday…”

Food Insecurity in the US

Hunger strikes even rich U.S. counties, By Marisol Bello, April 13, 2015, USA Today: “Loudoun County in Virginia is made up of one of the wealthiest communities in the USA. But it’s also where Barbara Diaz, a nanny, struggles to feed her family of eight. While the median income in the county stands at $122,000 a year, Diaz, 55, makes about $21,600 a year as a nanny. With her salary, she has to feed her family and pay rent, car insurance and utilities. Often, she doesn’t have enough at the end of the month for food, so she turns regularly to her local food pantry for help. Diaz and her family are among the 46 million Americans who have a meal gap, in which they can’t afford to pay for three meals a day, according to a new report titled ‘Map the Meal Gap’ by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks nationwide. The food banks provide food to pantries…”

Food Insecurity in the U.S.

America’s real hunger game: 50 million in crisis, By Steve James, December 12, 2014, NBC News: “In the richest country in the world, nearly 1 in 6 Americans go to bed hungry. As the holiday season of giving approaches, the slow recovery from the 2008 recession and cuts in the government’s anti-hunger programs have only put more children and seniors at risk, advocates for the poor and hungry say. Corporations are finding more creative ways to help fight the scourge, but the number of hungry has risen, percolating up into the middle class and sparking fears for the welfare of aging baby boomers…”

Homelessness and Hunger in U.S. Cities

  • Survey finds acute homelessness in Boston, By Katie Johnston, December 11, 2014, Boston Globe: “More Boston residents are living in emergency shelters than in any of 25 major cities surveyed nationwide, according to a report released Thursday by the US Conference of Mayors. The survey provided a detailed snapshot of Boston’s homeless population, including the revelation that a quarter of the city’s homeless adults have jobs. In Trenton, N.J., by comparison, only 4 percent are employed. Still, these jobs don’t pay enough to put a roof over their heads…”
  • U.S. mayors fear hunger, homelessness will rise under GOP Congress, By Christopher Smart, December 11, 2014, Salt Lake Tribune: “City officials who deal with poverty at street level every day across America are bracing for potential cuts in social programs as a Republican-dominated Congress takes over next month. A new report on hunger and homelessness underscores those concerns, painting a grim picture of life on the lower rungs of the economic ladder — despite a recovering economy. Although progress has been made on some fronts, city leaders fear food stamps could be pared back and worry that federal funding for housing might not keep pace with rising costs…”
  • Major cities, including Cleveland, expect ongoing issues over hunger and homelessness, study says, By Roxanne Washington, December 12, 2014, Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Requests for emergency food is expected to increase over the next year in several metropolitan areas, while meeting those needs could continue to fall short, says a task force of some U.S. cities, including Cleveland. The findings are from the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Status on Hunger and Homelessness report released Thursday. Twenty-five cities with populations of 30,000 or more were surveyed…”

Child Mortality and Hunger in Developing Nations

  • Despite declines, child mortality and hunger persist in developing nations, U.N. reports, By Rick Gladstone and Somini Sengupta, September 16, 2014, New York Times: “The United Nations on Tuesday reported significant declines in the rates of child mortality and hunger, but said those two scourges of the developing world stubbornly persist in parts of Africa and South Asia despite major health care advances and sharply higher global food production. The trends, detailed in two annual reports by United Nations agencies, were presented before the General Assembly meetings of world leaders, where the Millennium Development Goals, a United Nations list of aspirations to meet the needs of the world’s poorest, are an important discussion theme. While one of those goals — halving the number of hungry people by 2015 — seems within reach, the goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds is years behind, the reports showed…”
  • World making progress against hunger, report finds, but large pockets of undernourished persist, By Daniel Stone, September 16, 2014, National Geographic: “No one on the planet should go hungry. That’s because the world’s farmers grow 700 more calories per person than the World Food Programme’s daily recommended 2,100 calories—an abundance of plants and animals that surpasses the daily needs of the world’s 7.2 billion people. In most places, the challenge is access. Global access to food is improving overall, according to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released Tuesday, yet challenges in the developing world—from poor infrastructure and political instability to erratic weather and long-term changes in climate—are keeping 805 million people from having enough to eat…”

US Food Insecurity

  • USDA: Despite slight improvement, hunger persists, By Alfred Lubrano, September 4, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer: “High rates of hunger persisted in the United States in 2013, with 49 million Americans – 16 million of them children – unable to consistently eat nutritious food. In 360,000 U.S. households, conditions were so severe that children skipped meals, or didn’t eat for a whole day because there wasn’t enough money for food. Overall, levels of hunger remained essentially unchanged between 2012 and 2013, although hunger declined slightly between 2011 and 2013. The findings are from a federal annual report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ‘Household Food Security in the United States in 2013,’ the official measure of hunger in America…”
  • US household food security fails to improve, By Haya El Nasser, September 3, 2014, Al Jazeera America: “More U.S. households are having a hard time putting food on the table than before the recession. But there is a sliver of hope: The numbers are not going up. In 2013, 14.3 percent of households (17.5 million) experienced varying degrees of food insecurity, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The change from 2012 was not statistically significant, but the latest research shows a slight dip since 2011, when 14.9 percent of households suffered from hunger or poor nutrition…”

Hunger in America Report

  • Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on food banks, By Natalie DiBlasio, August 17, 2014, USA Today: “When Mary Smallenburg, 35, of Fort Belvoir, Va., opened a package from her mother to find cereal and ramen noodles, she burst into tears. Without it, she wouldn’t be able to feed her four children. ‘It got to the point where I opened my pantry and there was nothing. Nothing. What was I going to feed my kids?’ Smallenburg says, adjusting a bag of fresh groceries on her arm. Smallenburg’s family is one of 50 military families that regularly visit the Lorton Community Action Center food bank. Volunteers wave a familiar hello as she walks in the door…”
  • Hunger in America study shows south central Michigan has high need for food banks, By Linda S. Mah, August 18, 2014, MLive: “A national study on hunger and food insecurity that included research on an eight-county area in south central Michigan, points to high need and continued struggles to balance food issues with other basic needs. The Hunger in America study is released every four years. The Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek coordinated an analysis of local hunger issues in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes food bank works with the Food Bank of SCM to provide food to residents through a network of 24 food pantries…”
  • Study sheds light on broadening U.S. hunger problem, By Andrea Stone, August 18, 2014, National Geographic: “Dusti Ridge leans on her cane and waits patiently for her number to be called at Bread for the City, a food bank in southeast Washington, D.C. When she hears ’56,’ she steps into the nonprofit group’s pantry to find out what she’ll be eating for the next week. Kale, green peppers, yellow tomatoes, and dried cherries—perfect for a favorite brown rice recipe—go into her shopping bag. So does a whole chicken. But she passes on canned green beans; too much salt, she says…”

Maternal and Child Malnutrition – International

Fighting malnutrition, 50 countries say they’ll make good nutrition a priority, By David Nabarro, June 25, 2014, Christian Science Monitor: “In 2008, an international medical journal (the Lancet) released a series of research papers on maternal and child nutrition. At that time the journal’s editor wrote, ‘nutrition is a desperately neglected aspect of maternal, newborn, and child health. The reasons are understandable, but not justifiable and the international nutrition system is broken. Leadership is absent, resources are too few, capacity is fragile, and emergency response systems are fragmentary. New governance arrangements are urgently needed.’ At that time the importance of nutrition as a key driver of development was not widely understood, or acknowledged; it was lost amongst the many competing issues straining to attract political attention and financial support. An article about the importance of malnutrition in human and economic development would have started by making the case . . .”

Food Insecurity in the US

Hunger is a ‘silent crisis’ in the USA, By Marisol Bello, April 16, 2014, USA Today: “Tianna Gaines Turner can’t remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children. She can’t remember the last time she woke up and wasn’t worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class section of Philadelphia. And she can’t remember the last time she felt confident she and her husband wouldn’t have to skip meals so their children could eat…”