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.
Syria's Bashar al-Assad expressed his support for Russia's stance on Ukraine.
Kenyatta said the actions would "demonstrate our firm resolve to properly manage" public funds.
A man identified by the court as "suspect number one" was convicted of involvement in the bombing of the al-Muhaya compound, where expatriates lived
Russia accused the European Union of taking an "extremely unconstructive position" by freezing talks on easing visa barriers
The presidents, alongside foreign ministers, will gather on Tuesday at a meeting of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) group of Latin American nations in Chile
He said the man, an unidentified foreign national who was naked, has not laid any charges against the policemen, who are seen punching and kicking him in the genitals, after answering a call-out on robbery complaint.
Austrian farmers working in Hungary could be forced off their land under new laws
26 Ukrainians studying in Russian military academies will be summoned home.
Located along the Vivari canal connecting Lake Butrint with the Ionian Sea, the 3,000-year-old site was originally established by the Ancient Greeks and continued to be used by the Romans and Byzantines until the late Middle Ages.
Tymoshenko said a Russian takeover of the Crimean peninsula would create long-term dangers for the whole region.
Koco Danaj's plans for ‘Natural Albania’ include all areas inhabited by Albanian-speaking people such as Kosovo and parts of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece.
The statue of Princess Iset was discovered at the temple of her pharaoh father on the western bank of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor
Both sides have made clear their political will to reach a long-term accord and have scheduled a series of meetings in coming months
Saudi Arabia has officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood as a 'terrorist' organization.
Malaak Ayuen, the army's director of information, said the toll was likely to climb as more bodies are discovered.
Kerry arrived in Aqaba, Jordan in an unscheduled visit to discuss Middle East peace with Jordan's King Abdullah