Fewer U.S. Households Are Going Hungry, But Cuts In Food Aid Loom

Millions of families in the U.S. struggled to get enough food to eat last year, but conditions appear to be getting better as the economy improves.

In a new report released Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that about 11 percent of households — just over 14 million — had trouble putting enough food on the table last year and that in about 4 percent of households, someone went hungry because there was not enough money to buy food.

While the numbers are high, they have steadily dropped in recent years and the government says that the level of what it calls food “insecurity” is finally back to where it was before the Great Recession began in 2007.

“That’s good news,” says Rachel Merker of First Focus, a group that advocates for children and families. But she and other anti-hunger advocates worry that the new numbers will be used to justify cuts in government aid. They say that hunger is still a problem, especially among certain vulnerable groups. “It’s important to note that children are disproportionately living in food insecure households,” Merker says.