Millions of people in the US continue to struggle with hunger

New data from USDA shows 49M people (16M children) are food insecure in the US

CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Department of Agriculture reported today that 14.5 percent of American households remain food insecure – meaning 1 in 6 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year in providing enough food for all their members. The report comes as the House of Representatives is expected to consider a bill this month with a $40 billion cut to federal food assistance.

"When it comes to food insecurity rates, any number is too high," said Bob Aiken, Feeding America CEO. "It's because of numbers like these that we need to maintain a strong federal and charitable safety net to get enough food to those in need. This means strengthening and protecting federal programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) and TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program)."

The proposed $40 billion SNAP cut in the House bill would result in millions of Americans seeing their food assistance reduced or lost entirely, resulting in over 15 billion lost meals for struggling families over the next ten years according to Feeding America estimates. If divided evenly across Feeding America's national network of food banks, every food bank would have to provide an additional 7.5 million meals each year for the next ten years. These cuts would come on top of benefit reductions for all SNAP recipients that will take effect on November 1st and will average about $36 per month for a family of four.

"With so many of our neighbors, friends and family worrying about where the next meal is coming from, now is not the time to cut federal nutrition programs," said Aiken. "These programs are critical to meeting the current need. Our nation's food banks are already stretched thin in the wake of the recession, and charity cannot make up for the billions of lost meals resulting from such cuts. We urge Congress to maintain Washington's long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting programs that help struggling families put food in their pantries."

About Feeding America

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate.  Together we can solve hunger.  For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find Feeding America on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow Feeding America news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.

Contact: Ross Fraser, Feeding America, 312-641-6422

SOURCE Feeding America



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