Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Fewer U.S. households experienced severe hunger last year, but the overall number of homes struggling to keep healthy meals on the table every day stayed the same.
The Agriculture Department's annual food security data, released Wednesday, shows the persistence of the recession, as well as the determination of anti-hunger programs, charities and food banks to keep families fed.
This report underscores the critical role that federal nutrition-assistance programs play in helping struggling American families put food on the table until they can get back on their feet, said Kevin Concannon, undersecretary of food, nutrition and consumer services in the Agriculture Department.
The report found that in the past 12 months, 85.5 percent of households, or about 101 million, were food secure, meaning they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
The remaining 14.5 percent, or 17.2 million households, were food insecure, said Alisha Coleman-Jensen, lead author of the report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. …