Hello, dark and rainy Monday. Today the USDA released their annual Food Security Report and the news ain't pretty. To put it simply: a hell of a lot of Americans (we're talking 49 million) can't afford to put food (never mind consistently healthy food) on the table.
Some quick facts:
In 2008, 14.6% of U.S. households "had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources." (That's up from 11.1% in 2007, an increase of 4 million households.)
This is the highest recorded rate of food insecurity since 1995, when the first national food security survey was conducted.
Single parent households and non-white households have the highest levels of food insecurity.
What's even more frightening? These numbers are from 2008, and it's not getting any easier for people out there. According to the latest news, the number of Americans receiving food stamps was a record 36 million in August, the eighth month in a row that enrollment set a new record. To quote U.S. secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, "This is a wakeup call for America."
Horrified? Here's a list of emergency food programs in King County.