Magazine article Policy & Practice
25 Million Depend on Emergency Food Assistance
More than 25 million people, or about 9 percent of all Americans, receive food assistance on an emergency basis, according to the February 23 report, "Hunger in America 2006," commissioned by America's Second Harvest Network, an organization representing some 200 food banks and food rescue groups.
This number includes nearly 9 million children and 3 million seniors. The overall number of those seeking help at food banks and soup lines has swelled by 8 percent since 2001, and 18 percent since 1997.
Another large share of those seeking assistance is from what's known as the working poor. About one-third of the adults between the ages of 18 and 65 needing emergency food aid are employed. Thirty-six percent of all families seeking assistance reported that at least one family member was working. One-fourth of all households reported that a job was their primary source of income, followed by 20 percent who reported that Social Security was their primary source of income. …