Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If the economy really is "getting better", then why are nearly 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity?  In 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation".  The same could be said of our time.  In America today, most people are quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month.  Nine of the top ten occupations in the U.S. pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year, but those that actually are working are better off than the millions upon millions of Americans that can't find jobs.  The level of employment in this nation has remained fairly level since the end of the last recession, and median household income has gone down for five years in a row.  Meanwhile, our bills just keep going up and the cost of food is starting to rise at a very frightening pace.  Family budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, and more families are falling out of the middle class every single day.  In fact, a new report by Feeding America (which operates the largest network of food banks in the country) says that 49 million Americans are "food insecure" at this point.  Approximately 16 million of them are children.  It is a silent epidemic of hunger that those living in the wealthy areas of the country don't hear much about.  But it is very real.

The mainstream media and our politicians continue to insist that "things are getting better", and that may be true for Wall Street, but the man who was in charge of the new Feeding America report says that the level of suffering for the tens of millions of Americans that are food insecure has not changed...

Nothing is getting better,” said Craig Gundersen, lead researcher of the report, “Map the Meal Gap 2014,” and an expert in food insecurity and food aid programs.


Let’s stop talking about the end of the Great Recession until we can make sure that we get food insecurity rates down to a more reasonable level,” he added. “We’re still in the throes of the Great Recession, from my perspective.”

In fact, a different report seems to indicate that hunger in America is actually getting worse...

Children's HealthWatch, a network of doctors and public health researchers who collect data on children up to 4 years old, says 29% of the households they track were at risk of hunger last year, compared with 25% the year before.

If someone tries to tell you that "the economy is getting better", that person is probably living in a wealthy neighborhood.  Because those that live in poor neighborhoods would not describe what is going around them as an "improvement".

In particular, many minority neighborhoods are really dealing with extremely high levels of food insecurity right now.  The following comes from a recent NBC News article...

"Minorities are facing serious hunger issues. Ninety-three percent of counties with a majority African-American population fall within the top 10 percent of food-insecure counties, while 60 percent of majority American Indian counties fall in that category"

But if you don't live in one of those areas and you don't know anyone that is facing food insecurity, it can be difficult to grasp just how much people are actually suffering out there right now.

For example, consider the story of a young mother named Tianna Gaines Turner...

Tianna Gaines Turner can't remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children.


She can't remember the last time she woke up and wasn't worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class section of Philadelphia.

And she can't remember the last time she felt confident she and her husband wouldn't have to skip meals so their children could eat.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to skip meals just so that other family members could have something to eat?

I haven't, so it is hard for me to imagine having to do such a thing.  But there are millions of parents that are faced with these kinds of hard choices every day.

Things can be particularly hard if you are a single parent.  Just consider the story of Jamie Grimes...

After Jaime Grimes found out in January that her monthly food stamps would be cut again, this time by $40, the single mother of four broke down into sobs — then she took action.


The former high school teacher made a plan to stretch her family’s meager food stores even further. She used oatmeal and ground beans as filler in meatloaf and tacos. She watered down juice and low-fat milk to make it last longer. And she limited herself to one meal a day so her kids — ages 3, 4, 13, and 16 — would have enough to eat.

I have such admiration for working single mothers.  Many of them work more than one job just so that they can provide for their children.  It can be absolutely frustrating to work as hard as you possibly can and still not have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month.

Those that believe that the economy has gotten "back to normal" just need to look at the number of women that have been forced to turn to government assistance.  As I mentioned the other day, a decade ago the number of American women that had jobs outnumbered the number of American women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of American women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of American women that have jobs.

The truth is that we are nowhere close to where we used to be.  The last major economic downturn permanently damaged the middle class, and now the next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching.

Right now, there are nearly 50 million Americans that are facing food insecurity.  When the next economic crisis strikes, that number is going to go much higher.

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Dr. Engali's picture

Hope and change is a bitch bitchez! I hear oligarchs are quite tasty with a little garlic and a glass of Cabernet.

Dr. Destructo's picture

I dunno, I wouldn't eat a penis or an asshole so I'd definitely pass on the oligarch.

knukles's picture

This is exactly the kind of shit that Progressives cannot expalin away.
Same with the fucking disaster unfolding from ObieCare
Not to mention drones, freedoms... oh neverthefuckmind

JohnG's picture



Learn to fish, hunt and grow your food.

Never be hungry again.

If a lily soft keybard jock like me can do it anyone can.

I refuse to starve.


SafelyGraze's picture

fortunately, the Common Core is improving learning, more and more each year


".. began taking college-level math courses at the age of 8 and entered Princeton at 16 .. "

and that is proof the the system is working!


JohnG's picture



I know about that crap my wife is a teacher....

I hear it every day (bitch, bitch, bitch) keep telling her to just quit FFS.  It is so much worse that you can know unless you've read some of the absolute nonsense coming out of Pearson.  Complete unadulterated crap.

The just don;t even want to try and teach basic skills any more and I get the feeling that they are openly mocking the people. 

Its absurd.

Shad_ow's picture

Please refer to it in the proper term "Commie Core."

nmewn's picture

2 + 2 is five.

Right Johnny! Now how did you arrive at that?

Because two and two makes four and I'm the one adding, so its five.

Excellent Johnny, one gold star for you!

(Johnny says, thats six)

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Pearson is highly responsive to the teachers as well, though.

You might not know this but they really want to know what teachers have to say about how their tools benefit, or fail to benefit, the students at various grade levels.

Now just imagine-you-this: what happens if the teachers say the tools and/or curriculum is "too hard"? What happens if they say math problems need to be less wordy because the kids can't read?

And just taking your imagination that far, what if the teachers further say their students who can't read are in grade 4? Not just a handful but a majority....

If you're hearing this and you're not the teacher but the person / group responsible for adjusting something, what do you think your options really are? Not only do you want to sell a product but you also know you're not the actual teacher so how far can you contradict this? What can you push back on?

See how that works? Just think about what that kind of outcome means...

Tortfeasor's picture

"And it's a real problem"
A somewhat real problem. If more people took time to forage, fish, fuck, even bake your own damn bread, it would alleviate some of the "real" problem. But no, everyone needs food stamps and free Cheetos.

infinity8's picture

I won't call myself a lily soft keyboard jock, although I can be/have been. I grew up with an amazing (thsnk's dad) garden that a lot of my chores had to do with as well as grandparents (both sides) and great-grandparents (mom's side) - most amazing, plentiful gardens. Nobody bought produce. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't make use of any of this experience/knowledge until last year which was a bit of a joke. Some unfortunate/unusual weather but, mostly me not putting in the hours to make it happen.

This year I'm getting serious, doubled down space-wise, and so far, the weather gods in my favor. Not fucking around any more.

infinity8's picture

Also, on a happy note, the row of 4 houses across the street from me that are occupied by "older" (ha-ha, I'm not too far behind them) people that have been there forever and own their homes and don't want to move, have been coming out of their suspicion of me after @7 yrs and we have been trading tools and equipment and services and goods and figuring out how to fucking make it when TSHTF. Very reassuring. I also think I hear my neighbors to the south fucking right now. Good on them. Peace be to all and to all a  Good Night.

Poor Grogman's picture

Baby lettuce mix is the best bang for the buck to be found.
Cycle two 1sq m plots on three month rotation and have enough delicious green salad mix for the whole family as well as some freeloaders. All year round.
Hard to beat!

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

LDSPrepper: http://youtu.be/wyOTeZmN62s Easy Trick to Double garden Food Production

mkkby's picture

What a scam.  There is no hunger in america.  Not unless you count the lobbyists who hunger for more welfare spending, so they can skim more for themselves.  Lobbyist hunger is a stomach that's never full.

TrumpXVI's picture

"I refuse to starve!"


The new battle cry.

Good grief, what have we come to?

john39's picture

Reminds me of the Great Leap Forward in china. On paper, it all looked fantastic... Until tens of millions of people starved to death.

weburke's picture

43 million according to expert. purposefully killed. They had crops.....GREW them in fact, but they were shipped away. Just like Ukraine ! back in the thirties.

real insecurity is that the food stamp program is electronic, and there is no plan b

Totentänzerlied's picture

Actually crop failure and drastic declines in yield were a problem in all communist countries, particularly Russia/USSR and China that I am familiar with. There is a quote attributed to Mao, that seeds should be sown in groups rather than individually, which was apparently followed through on, and deciminated germination rates and therefore yields. But yes, there was in both cases, almost always, enough food for the locals, problem is it was simply seized at gunpoint and shipped to the cities. If anyone's interested, I'm sure a few seconds of Googling can tell you what happened to farmers accused of hoarding - that familiar clarion call of enemies of markets throughout all human history.

Edit: There is indeed no plan B, not when 90% of the populace has never grown an edible plant and thinks food comes from supermarkets, not to mention agribusiness and the systematic destruction (that is, debt enserfment) of independent farmers.

zaphod's picture

"real insecurity is that the food stamp program is electronic, and there is no plan b"

You could make the same argument for most well to do people who have 3 days of food at the house and think a credit card and whole foods is all you need.

EBT cards will only stop working the day all the cards stop working

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Could happen any time. That's why I always have weeks of food, only cash, gold & silver. Fuck electrons, they are an accident/attack waiting to happen.

XitSam's picture

This is exactly what progressives want. More opportunity for taxation and wealth redistribution! And they can blame it on the Koch brothers and the vast right-wing conspiracy. 

Facts don't matter and the MSM is on their side.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Ayn Rand's bony corpse is grinning ear hole to ear hole. USA! USA! USA!

newbie vampire's picture

Aww man, we gotta cut the Man some slack.  He is the 1st POTUS to win the Nobel Peace prize.  What about that all important TPP ?  Which is supposed to bring untold benefits for the US ?/sarc

And he has secured peace in our time with mutual defence treaties with Japan and now the Philippines.  Apparently the mutual defence seems to be strictly one-way.  The US supplies the bodies for the body bags and our mutual allies just do their own thing.  I had thought at least those chicken-livered allies would sign up for the TPP in exchange for US protection.  But no, our dependable allies seem to think the US is obligated to provide for their defence.  We're gonna need the hungry and destitute in the US to fill the ranks of the cannon fodder class.

If it wasn't so sad, it might even be funny.  But this POTUS thinks it is in the best interests of the US.

Ours not to reason why, ours is to do and die.

Totentänzerlied's picture

You really think so? Your liberal acquaintances must be quite the poseurs if they can't figure this one out, it's the equivalent of finding your way out of an open box. The liberal explanation is simple and hasn't changed in your lifetime. You ready for this bomb of liberal """truth"""*?

"The welfare state is still just not nearly big enough, bitchez." -Article of liberal faith since FDR and third-rail of liberal politics since LBJ

And anyone who thinks I'm making that up, watch a minute of MSNBC (better have a barf bag at the ready) then simply extrapolate the implications of what you hear.

* triple scare-quotes

rsnoble's picture

I can't say I wouldn't eat an asshole as i've had a few gals with nice round rumps in my time.  Somehow my tongue always ends up there?

pods's picture

Pssst, they were talking about the OTHER tossed salad.


Deathrips's picture

I was assured that you can eat dollars.





Groundhog Day's picture

I thought they were good with fava beans and a glass of Chianti


nmewn's picture

I thought those close to fiddy million had food stamps (EBT) already?

Are we expected to believe there is another group of fifty million (to total a hundred million, roughly a third of the US population) that is "food insecure"...whatever the fuck that means?

I'm callin bullshit.

Antarctico's picture

Are we expected to believe there is another group of fifty million (to total a hundred million, roughly a third of the US population) that is "food insecure"...whatever the fuck that means?

I'm callin bullshit.

Since the figure in the post is 49 million, care to explain your math that results in 100 million "food insecure"? If you can't provide any source for 100 million outside of your pie-hole, I'm going to have to call bullshit on you.

Tortfeasor's picture

Must've been a common core kid. reading comprehension not a strong suit?
We have 50 mil on food stamps. Article say ~ 50 mil are "food insecure". Question was posed -does food insecure include food stamp recipients? Cause that is likely the case, but then beggars the question can you call yourself food insecure when a part (or all) of your food bill is taxpayer funded. Alternatively, is the original author saying 50 mil food stamps + another 50 mil food insecure? If so, that's a far sight more extreme than anything we've seen in reality.
Spoon fed enough for ya?

nmewn's picture

Reading comprehension (or math) are obviously not his strengths...lol.

Perhaps the "food insecurity" of EBT users rests with the supposedly never ending debt issuance by .gov and the bankers (who lap it up at the public trough) is what he really doesn't feel quite right about, in the equation of "insecurity".

Possibly, he's starting to see his sworn enemy "the banker & .gov" as his only savior and not his nemesis.

Its very disconcerting to discover that the slavemaster you hate the most is the very one that puts bread on your table...but...being the good little slave he is, he'll put all that internal conflict aside and soldier on ;-)

Antarctico's picture

Reading comprehension (or math) are obviously not his strengths...lol.

Really, that's all you got?  You have nothing beyond your bluster that explains how you got a figure of 100 million out of the original post? I'm all up for debating what "food insecure" means, because until that term is clearly defined, I am going to say it sounds like a logic-soft weasel term, but for fuck's sake don't go doubling down on the dumb by throwing in some BS weasel math just to keep your world view fully inflated.

nmewn's picture

One last time.

By conscience design or incompetent omission, the author does not stipulate that the (roughly) 50 million he is talking about ARE THE SAME 50 million which are currently on food stamps...


...leaving the UN-INFORMED reader to think there is a second group of 50 million...thus 100 million.

Because if we have 50 (again, roughly) million KNOWN to be on food stamps they are NOT by definition "food insecure" at all, as they know EXACTLY how much food they will get for free each month, that is called "food security", not insecurity.

NoDebt's picture

I'm with nmewn and Tortfeasor.  This article is a massive distortion.  Nobody is starving in the US that can make it to the wefare office.  Their CHILDREN may be paying for parents who can't put down the crack pipe or the meth long enough to buy groceries with the money (or more likely traded those beneifts away for more drugs), but NOBODY goes hungry in the US who is looking for food.  NOBODY.

How many people you hear about that show up in hospital ERs suffering from malnutrition?  Nobody but kids of drug-addicted parents.  Yet this article would have you believe there's some kind of starvation epidemic in the US.  Horseshit.

Serenity Now's picture

It's true.  Nobody is starving in the US, and nobody has ever starved in the US, unless it was self-inflicted.  

In the 20th century, at least 75 million people died of starvation around the world.  You can probably double that number.  For those of you who still don't get it, communism / socialism did that.  Not capitalism.

FreedomGuy's picture

I'm with you, Tortfeasor. All this hunger in America stuff is BS. I hear it on the radio about 20% or more of kids going hungry each day. Yet, I look around and I see masses of fat kids that are twice the size they should be. Perhaps they suffer from food anxiety in that they won't get their next Hot Pocket or Snicker's ever half hour. BTW, the poorest kids are the fattest.

I want to know if the hungry families have smart phones, cable TV's and Air Jordan's. If they have none of those, they are underweight and they have no family then maybe I will believe there is some danger of starvation or prolonged hunger.

Liberal collectivists cannot have it both ways. They cannot simultaneously say that the 1000-fold expansion of the welfare state coincides with the expansion of hunger and poverty. Either their programs do not work (or expand the problem) or they are lieing. Take your pick.

I would not waste one dime on hunger in America. I would consider helping a third world country.

Anyone remember the article with the elephant sized guy on the Rascal about a week ago? That is more the truth of America.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

And it is a good question. EBT certainly must have limits per person per month and I eat healthy so I know it's not cheap, though some processed foods are much, much more expensive per gram, much less per gram of actual nutrients where you're not eating extra grams of slop/filler.

The next question is: if some places are really good to eat from, maybe not expensive like a country market (they still exist, right?) can you use EBT there? If not that's a loss of food security. Affordable, healthy food not able to be paid for because EBT is an on-grid technology that doesn't work where no device is offered to read it. (cough, cough, bitcoin iz fail, cough)

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

hm, garlic + oligarch probably will lead to some kind of indigestion or even a reaction to the vampire flesh.

I think I'll stick with the tried & true fava beans with a nice chiante. I'm taking this on expert advise, of course.

fonzannoon's picture

 I live in a pretty decent section of NY. I will be on line at the supermarket and there are plenty of times where the person in front of me will be dressed nicer than I am paying with food stamps. The cashier will even roll their eyes and make a joke as we watch that person load up their SUV while i am paying. The fraud in that system is unbelievable. I don't think we are far away from the point where that person in front of me gets their face kicked in while no one does a thing to stop it.

JohnG's picture



It won'tbe much longer Fonz.

I'm a pretty peaceful person if I can just be left mostly alone, but I find that in the past couple of years -- catcch myself thinking -- "I'd like to kick that assholes teeth in, fucking leech."

I hate shopping and try to avoid it as much as possible because it just pisses me off to see the crap that goes on that I'm literally paying for. 

It is usnsustainable and there will be a revolt.  I hope it happens before my children's lives are consumed by this madness.

Dr. Engali's picture

I am a lot like you and understand your anger, but it's directed at the wrong people. There are going to be takers across all levels of the social economic spectrum, but it's the oligarchs in charge who perpetuate a system like this who need their teeth kicked in.

JohnG's picture



I agree there is a "class" spectrum.  There also used to be poor farms where derelict people could go to at least have a subsistence level of living.  This so called "liberal progressive" political climate we have now is poison.

I call it like I see it: it is communism. 

Its deadly to society and it has to be killed.


infinity8's picture

It's the oligarchs that foster a system like this. . .

FreedomGuy's picture

It's not damned oligarchs. It's stupid liberal Congressmen who pander to the bread and circuses crowd. It is job security for liberal statists. It is job insecurity for any conservatives who consistently oppose it.

I am nearly to the point where I want the whole damned system to implode and then we will get a glimpse of reality on many different levels.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture


Did you get hit in the head with a hammer? There are NO LIBERALS, NO CONSERVATIVES. That's a TRICK. They are all taking the same brown envelopes and working for the same corporations when they leave or in Reid's case, at the same time as a double-timing lobbyist & senator.

Strat-O-Sphere's picture

My thoughts exactly Dr. Engali. This spite and stigma associated with the unemployed, poor, disabled or welfare recipients is the product of Murdoch MSM at Fux spews especially. The biggest welfare moochers and rorters are politicians, oligarchs, banksters and multinationals, who benefit from a strong state, but never pay for it in taxes. Meanwhile they enjoy humungous and often severely overpriced government contracts, bail outs, and legislation that protects their monopolies, or duopolies. The welfare recipients get pocket change compared to that, regardless of whether they are legitimate, or whether they are rorting the system.