Millions of Americans may not know when they will have their next meal.
A report from the Department of Agriculture for 2022 says 17 million U.S. households suffered from food insecurity, which is defined as s household with limited or uncertain access to adequate food.
The 17 million figure is a dramatic increase from 2021, when 13.5 million households were considered food insecure. A similar number, 13.8 million, of households were food insecure in 2020, the USDA reported.
A major concern is the number of households with children that are food insecure. The report says 3.3 million of the households experiencing food insecurity have children. Nearly 400,000 of those households were considered to have very low food security.
"These households with very low food security among children reported that children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food," the USDA said.
Grocery store prices are a major factor in whether people face food security issues. According to data from the consumer price index in September, food prices at grocery stores were up 3% from the year prior.
The federal government has numerous programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to help people who are food insecure.
The report says about 55% of food insecure households participated in one of the programs.
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