Los Angeles, United States, 25 Oct (EFE). – Food insecurity in American households increased in 2022 for the first time in ten years, with nearly 13 million children living in a family that had problems getting food at some point during the year, a report by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed on Wednesday.
At least 12.8% of US families – 17 million households – experienced food insecurity in 2022, an increase of 2.6% from 2021 (10.2%) and 2.3% from 2020 (10.5%).
The 2022 increase broke a downward trend between 2011 and 2021, the USDA highlighted.
The published figure includes seven million households facing very low food security, the most severe USDA classification, in which one or more household members experience reduced food intake due to lack of money and resources to obtain food.
8.8% of households with children – 3.3 million families – were food insecure at some point in 2022, up from 6.2% (2.3 million households) in 2021.
According to the report, “households with food insecurity among children were at times unable to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children”.
USDA researchers highlighted that there were statistically significant increases in food insecurity from 2021 to 2022 in almost all subgroups of household classifications, such as those headed by single mothers or minority groups.
Lisa Davis, vice president of Share Our Strength, which leads the No Kid Hungry campaign, called the figures “a heartbreaking reality and an avoidable tragedy”.
Davis warned that all the progress made, even during the pandemic, has been reversed since investment programs to fight hunger among low-income children and families ended.
She defended investments in nutrition programs, school and summer meals, and tax benefits, some of which were cut after the pandemic.
“These types of investments are especially critical for communities of color, which experience persistent inequalities,” the activist said. EFE