The number of Americans who lived in households that lacked consistent access to adequate food soared last year, to 49 million, the highest since the government began tracking what it calls “food insecurity” 14 years ago, the Department of Agriculture reported Monday. The increase, of 13 million Americans, was much larger than even the most pessimistic observers of hunger trends had expected and cast an alarming light on the daily hardships caused by the recession’s punishing effect on jobs and wages.
One figure that drew officials’ attention was the number of households, 506,000, in which children faced “very low food security”: up from 323,000 the previous year. President Obama, who has pledged to end childhood hunger by 2015, released a statement while traveling in Asia that called the finding “particularly troubling.”
But, lest we get all wobbly about the fact that 14.6% of our country does not have adequate food or feel too sorry for these hungry children, Robert Rector, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, comforts us by stating, “Very few of these people are hungry. When they lose jobs, they constrain the kind of food they buy. That is regrettable, but it’s a far cry from a hunger crisis.”
Now, doesn't that make you feel better, these people are not hungry, they have just stopped buying steak, caviar, and foie gras, and are eating ramen noodles instead. I mean, after all, what five year old doesn't love a steady diet of ramen noodles.