According to the USDA, more than one in seven American households – 49 million individuals, including 12 million children – struggles to have enough to eat.
Although food assistance increased by 8% in 2011, the vulnerable households increased by 7% and the food need by 8%. The USDA also states that from 2007 to 2011, the years just before and after the Great Recession, the percentage of U.S. households with food-insecure children (lacking consistent access to adequate food) increased from 8.3 to 10% because households with unemployed adults and part-time workers comprised a larger portion of the total in the post-recessionary period than in the pre-recessionary period. Second Harvest Food Bank’s study also paints an equally dire local picture – more than one in seven children in Santa Clara County face chronic hunger. Hundreds of thousands of children suffer pangs of hunger as they await their first meal of the day – a free breakfast and/or lunch served at school.