Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

As hunger persists in America, food security might be harder to achieve

by Patt Morrison

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People line up to receive a free meal at the St. Anthony foundation dining room on September 16, 2010 in San Francisco, California. The U.S. poverty rate increased to a 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level since 1994. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

About 15% of U.S. households, 17.4 million families, lacked enough money to feed themselves at one point last year; in California just over 14% of households suffered from “food insecurity” at one point during 2009. In the richest country in the world this large of a number of households that are wanting for food is never acceptable, but the problem is stabilizing somewhat as the economy limps toward a recovery—but there are bigger issues in the immediate future, most of them based on the funding of government programs, from food stamps to Medicare, that act as a vital safety net for the poorest and hungriest Americans. A federal law that covers the country’s school meals program is awaiting reauthorization from either a lame duck Congress or a new Republican majority hostile to these kinds of spending programs; stimulus money went to prop up food stamps last year and that extra funding is petering out; and budget cuts, both at the federal and state levels, threaten all kinds of nutritional sustenance programs. Even as the economy gets a little better might more Americans be going hungry?


Matthew Sharp, senior advocate in the L.A. office of the California Food Policy Advocates

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