Feature

A false alarm over hunger in America

Anyone surveyed who said they had ever &ldquo;worried&rdquo; about running out of food was counted in the total, whether or not they actually had run out, said Charles Lane on <em>Washingtonpost.com.</em>

Charles Lane
Washingtonpost.com

Is famine stalking our nation? asked Charles Lane. It would seem so, based on the breathless reaction to an Agriculture Department report last week that found that 16.4 million U.S. households experienced “food insecurity” last year, up from 12.2 million households in 2007. News articles and pundits used terms like “alarming” and “dramatic” to describe the results, implying that millions of Americans “lack food.”

But look closer. Anyone surveyed who said they had ever “worried” about running out of food was counted in the total, whether or not they actually had run out. In fact, only about a third of the 16.4 million “food insecure” households reported that any member experienced “even a brief reduction in actual food consumption.” Only 0.1 percent of children went without food for an entire day, down from 0.2 percent in 2007.

Of course, no amount of hunger should be tolerated in America. “But is it ‘alarming’ that 99.9 percent of American children ate at least something every day despite the worst economic downturn since the Depression? Or is it a tribute to American abundance, and to the safety net, public and private?”

Recommended

Analyst: Russian forces are 'bludgeoning their way through' Severodonetsk
A destroyed bridge in Severodonetsk.
war in ukraine

Analyst: Russian forces are 'bludgeoning their way through' Severodonetsk

Anthony Albanese ousts Scott Morrison in Australian election
Anthony Albanese.
in with the new

Anthony Albanese ousts Scott Morrison in Australian election

Biden concludes visit in South Korea, heads to Japan
Joe Biden.
next stop

Biden concludes visit in South Korea, heads to Japan

Russia claims to have captured Mariupol
Russian soldier in Mariupol.
big if true

Russia claims to have captured Mariupol

Most Popular

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital
Jada Sayles receives her diploma.
major milestones

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised at hospital

Elon Musk reportedly offered to trade a horse for an erotic massage
Elon Musk
A horse?

Elon Musk reportedly offered to trade a horse for an erotic massage

Archbishop denies Pelosi communion over abortion rights
Nancy Pelosi.
church and state

Archbishop denies Pelosi communion over abortion rights