|The number of U.S. households that reported getting emergency food from a food pantry almost doubled between 2007 and 2009, at the height of the recession, a government report said on Monday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the number of households jumped to 5.6 from 3.9 million.
"Households also accessed additional assistance through USDA's 15 food and nutrition assistance programs," the article in the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) "Amber Waves" said.
In a separate report, the ERS said the percentage of U.S. households without food security -- access to enough food for an active, healthy life -- at some point during the year hit a record in 2009.
It said more than 50 million people, including at least 17 million children, lived in households uncertain of having or getting enough food at some point because of insufficient money or other material resources.
For about a quarter of food-insecure households and one-third of those with very low food security, "the occurrence was frequent or chronic," the ERS report said.