November 18, 2008
Child Hunger Rose 50%
Campaign coverage perpetuated a myth that the economy suddenly went south when Lehman brothers collapsed in October. For many people the effects of the weak economy had been felt long before that.
New government figures show that almost 700,000 children went hungry in the United States at some point in 2007, up more than 50 percent from the year before to mark the highest point since 1998. And that's even before this year's sharp economic downtown, the Agriculture Department reported Monday.
For those who need an economic reminder why society traditionally frowned on unmarried women having babies outside of wedlock, consider that the highest rates of "food insecurity" were families headed by single mothers.
In practical terms, what does this mean? 93% of those in this category said they were "eating less than they felt they should because there was not enough money for food" and 65% said they "had been hungry but did not eat because they could not afford enough food."
(Originally posted at Steve Waldman's blog at Beliefnet.)