Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

USDA reports “lowest figures on record for food insecurity among children”

Thursday, September 08, 2016

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            Important news:  As you may have seen by now, yesterday the USDA’s Economic Research Service reported that hunger among children is at its lowest level on record.  For “Very Low Food Security”, the government metric that correlates closest to hunger, as opposed to “food insecurity” which is more of a socio-economic measure, “both children and adults experienced instances of very low food security in 0.7 percent of households with children (274,000 households out of 125 million households) in 2015. The decline from 2014 (1.1 percent) was statistically significant.”  
 
This progress is the result of an improving economy and the higher participation rates in food and nutrition programs ranging from school breakfast to SNAP which we have worked so hard to achieve. 
            Needless to say, our work is still far from done, even more of the gap must be closed, and many of the gains we’ve made need to be protected and consolidated.  As the report explains in distinguishing between the hunger represented  by Very Low Food Security and the economic anxiety and deprivation represented by “food insecurity”: “Children were food insecure at times during the year in 7.8 percent of U.S. households with children (3.0 million households), down significantly from 9.4 percent in 2014. These households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children.”   So we won’t be easing up any time soon.
But with 99.3% of American children NOT living in households that experience Very Low Food Security, this data offers a glimpse of a future in which Share Our Strength will celebrate the success of it’s No Kid Hungry campaign, and be in a stronger position than ever to support other critical strategies combating hunger and poverty.
 
Billy
 
Three links you will find of interest:
 
 
          USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s’ statement @ http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2016/09/0189.xml&contentidonly=true
 
          The executive summary of the USDA report @ http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/2137657/err215_summary.pdf