On Monday, USDA's Economic Research Service released an annual report that demonstrated that federal nutrition assistance food programs are providing a valuable safety net to the most vulnerable Americans. The report "Food Security in the United States 2009" found that 17.4 million households in America had difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of resources, about the same as in 2008.
Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon says the report highlights just how critical federal nutrition assistance programs are for American families in need. He says the programs are designed to respond rapidly and automatically to emerging needs in times of economic change and will expand and contract with the economy.
According to Concannon, the fact that the numbers did not increase despite a significant increase in unemployment and poverty in the United States between 2008 and 2009, underscores the important role of Federal nutrition assistance programs in helping to prevent food insecurity.
However, Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, says the report underscores the continuing challenges of our economy and the ongoing need for Congress to take steps to create jobs and reinforce the shaky economic security of tens of millions of Americans. He said it's time to send the child nutrition reauthorization , the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, to the President for his signature.