Alabama ranks number one in the nation for households experiencing hunger, according to a report released Tuesday by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). An average of 6.8 percent of Alabama households reported very low food security, or food insecurity with hunger, between 2007 and 2009.
This rate has more than doubled since the last report in 2006, when 3.3 percent of households reported very low food security.
The report, “Household Food Security in the United States, 2009,” also finds that an average of 15 percent of Alabama households experienced food insecurity during the years 2007-2009.
“This report show us how badly Alabamians are hurting right now,” says Kristina Scott, Executive Director of the Alabama Poverty Project (APP). “We hear from folks every day that food assistance and hunger relief programs are being stretched beyond capacity. So many of our partners are in emergency mode, just trying to reach immediate needs.”
Food insecure households reported reduced quality, variety or desirability of diet, with little or no indication of reduced food intake. Households with very low food security reported multiple indicators of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.
“At the Alabama Poverty Project, we mobilize Alabamians to eliminate poverty. This means equipping faith communities, higher education institutions and other community partners who are on the front lines of direct assistance to help people move out of poverty permanently. Together, we can not only work to meet our neighbors’ immediate needs, but also permanently reduce the number of Alabamians who make up these statistics.”
How can you fight hunger?
- Get the facts: access our Hunger and Food Security Resources, including the new FRAC report on hunger. Also check out the latest income, health and obesity data
- Advocate: visit Bread for the World to learn how to advocate for federal policies to fight hunger. To influence local food policy, connect with Food Policy Councils in Birmingham or Huntsville – or start your own!
- Take Action: connect with a community garden or a food ministry in your area to see what you can do.
Posted by Robyn Hyden