World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of poor Americans who repeatedly ran short of food shot up by 800,000 in 2011 to nearly 17 million compared with 2010, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.
The Department of Agriculture said in a report that about 5.5 percent of Americans, or nearly 17 million, suffered "very low food security" last year, meaning they had to skip meals or not eat for a day because of a lack of money to buy food. That is a rise of 800,000 over the prior year, it said.
The food-security report was released one day after the government said that a record 46.7 million Americans were enrolled for food stamps in June, up by 173,000 in May.
High unemployment and slow growth since the deep 2008-2009 recession has driven enrollment in food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, to record levels.
The cost of food aid to the poor is an election-year issue, with Republicans calling for large cuts in food stamps and Medicaid to help reduce the deficit. Democrats say the cuts are too deep.
This year is likely to be even more problematic for hunger prevention because jobless benefits are running out for tens of thousands of long-term unemployed workers, said Jim Weil, head of the anti-hunger group Food Research and Action Center.
The overall food-insecurity rate for individuals was 16.4 percent, almost unchanged since 2008, when it surged to the highest levels since the Agriculture Department began monitoring food security in 1995.
Food-security issues were greatest in the South, in inner cities across the nation, in families with a single parent, in Black and Hispanic households and in households with children.
Mississippi and Arkansas were the states with the highest rate at 19.2 percent, and North Dakota was lowest at 7.8 percent.
Almost everyone who experienced very low food security said they ran short of food and didn't have the money to buy more. Some 97 percent said they cut back on the amount they ate or skipped a meal, while 91 percent said it happened often throughout the year.
Nearly half said they lost weight because they did not have enough to eat, according to the report.
The authorities of Central Asian Tajikistan say nearly 1,000 citizens have abandoned their homeland to join the ISIL fighter group.
Karim Wade, who was convicted by local court in 2013 for amassing illicit fortune, has been released from prison and flown to Qatar
Britain’s top official in the European Commission, Jonathon Hill, announced his resignation on Saturday in a sign of how the UK’s role within the EU institutions is dimininishing after the vote to leave.
Russian leader, counterpart witness inking of over 30 deals, sign statement vowing to enhance global strategic stability
1.5 million people have signed a petition calling for UK to hold 2nd EU referendum
The chain reaction from the UK vote to leave the EU has begun already with far-right parties calling for their own countries to leave the EU
Just one day after Mahmoud Abbas accused rabbi's of calling on the Israeli government to poison Palestinian water, he has retracted the charge saying it was "baseless" lie
Uzbekistan is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and ancient with magnificent cities boasting a beautiful mosaic of ancient history and a modern outlook
For Muslims, East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque represents world’s third holiest site
Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steimeier has said that it was important to heed the expectation from people and that the EU must not fall into a depression
The Mexican government will cut spending this year by a further $1.7 billion in support of its deficit-reduction targets
The UK has had its credit rating outlook downgraded to "negative" by the ratings agency Moody's after UK voted to leave the EU.
A car bomb exploded on Friday night evening in front of the visitors’ entrance at Benghazi’s Jalaa Hospital killing four people.
A wildfire has burnt more than 30,000 hectares that has prompted a state of emergency
Gudni Johannesson looks set to win Iceland's presidential election.