USDA: 17.2 mln US households lack access to adequate food
Approximately 14.5 percent (17.2 million households) were food insecure in 2010, according to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food-insecure households are classified as those that had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. This figure is relatively unchanged from 2009.
Rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average for households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men and Black and Hispanic households. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas and other outlying areas around large cities.
In 2010, 5.4 percent of U.S. households (6.4 million households) had very low food security, a statistically significant decline from 5.7 percent in 2009. In these households, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted due to limited resources. They comprised about one-third of all food-insecure households. Declines in the prevalence of very low food security were greatest for households with children, women living alone and households with annual incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line.
Data for the food security reports come from an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to the monthly Current Population Survey. USDA sponsors the annual survey, and USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) compiles and analyzes the responses. The 2010 food security survey covered 44,757 households comprising a representative sample of the U.S. civilian population of 119 million households.
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