by Pam Fessler, The Salt at NPR Food (9/3/14)
The number of U.S. families that struggled to get enough to eat last year was essentially unchanged from the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report on "food security."
The agency says that about 17.5 million families — or 1 in 7 — were food insecure last year. That means that at some point during the year, the household had trouble feeding all of its members. In 2012, the number was 17.6 million.
The number of households experiencing what the government calls "very low food security" — which means people actually miss meals or cut back their intake because they don't have enough money for food — was also essentially unchanged last year at 6.8 million households.
Anti-hunger groups say the fact that so many families are still struggling to put enough food on the table, even as the economy improves, is a sign that more needs to be done to help them out.