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10M more Americans living in households struggling with hunger: Research

Ten million more Americans are living in households that are struggling with hunger, according to a new United States Department of Agriculture report. 

The report, released Wednesday, found 44.2 million Americans were living in food-insecure households in 2022. In comparison, in 2021, 33.8 million million Americans were living in food-insecure households.

“These findings are unacceptable, yet the report is the latest piece of evidence that as the pandemic began to wane in 2022, another public health concern — food insecurity— increased,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release on the report.

The 44.2 million Americans living in food-insecure households include 30.8 million adults and 13.4 million children. Other findings in the report include 17.3 percent of households in the U.S. with children under the age of 18 having food insecurity at some point in 2022, up around 5 percent from the previous year.

The report also comes amid a heated debate over food subsidies in this year’s Farm bill in Congress. House and Senate Democrats are seeking to protect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the bill amid Republican efforts to cut spending.

“If they screw around with SNAP, there will be no farm bill,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, told The Hill earlier this year.

The farm bill is on a daunting to-do list for Congress in the coming months as the House returns to normal business after weeks of not having a Speaker.

Vilsack also raised alarm Thursday about the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which he said were “currently at risk of reduced funding or restricted access.”

“With this evidence before us, there is no excuse to look the other way while our country’s children and families contend with this unfair yet preventable hardship,” he added.

Source: The Hill

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