According to the latest USDA Food Security Report, 1 in 7 American households struggled to get food on the table at some point last year.
Food insecurity is defined as a family's inability to access enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle for all its members. The 17.4 million households that were food insecure in 2014 accounted for 14% of the population — down only slightly from 14.3% in 2013.
The grim news didn't end there. Last year, nearly 1 million children "were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food," according to the report.
USDA's findings come at the tail-end of summer — a difficult time for children who rely on free or reduced school meals for food. In the coming weeks, Congress will vote on the Hunger Free Summer For Kids Act, which aims to give the government more control over childhood nutrition during the months school is out of session.
"Much more needs to be done to connect children at risk of hunger with the meals they need to learn and grow," Eric Mitchell, director of government relations at Bread for the World, said in a press release. "We live in the most blessed country in the world, yet far too many people are at risk of hunger."
We couldn't agree more.
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