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New State-by-State Analysis of Food Hardship Shows 18 Percent of Respondents in District of Columbia Reported in First Half of 2010 Inability to Afford Enough Food
Washington, D.C. – December 29, 2010 – New data show that 18 percent of respondents in Washington, D.C. reported in the first half of 2010 that there were times during the prior twelve months that they did not have enough money to buy food that they needed for themselves or their family, according to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) analysis of data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing 1,000 households daily since January 2008. People were asked, “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” The full analysis by FRAC of the Gallup data is available at www.frac.org.
For the months of January through June 2010, forty-seven states and the District of Columbia had rates of 14.15 percent or higher – in other words, one in seven or more of those surveyed experienced food hardship.
“As we look to the start of a New Year, these numbers underline that far too many people in D.C. are struggling to put food on the table,” said Alexandra Ashbrook, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions. “Fortunately, D.C. is taking some strong steps forward in the fight against hunger. For example, the implementation of the Healthy Schools Act has led to more children starting the school day with a healthy morning meal. In fact, the first month of this school year saw an additional 5,900 children eating school breakfast each day compared with the same month last school year.”
“However, unemployment, poverty and food hardship remain very, very high, and we urge District leaders to look at smart and cost-effective ways to more connect families to the federal nutrition programs – strategies like taking advantage of options in the federal SNAP (food stamp) program to get more people enrolled, making new choices to feed children in school and after school from the recently passed child nutrition reauthorization law, and getting a head start on summer food outreach to raise awareness of the program.”
The full report is available at www.frac.org.
About This Report
This report is the third in the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) series of analyses of survey data on food hardship collected by Gallup as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. This particular analysis looks at the most recent available food hardship rates by state for the first half of 2010 – and how the late 2009/early 2010 rates by state compare to the prior twelve months (July 2008 - June 2009). The report thereby provides the most up-to-date examination yet at the state level of the struggle that very large numbers of American households are having affording enough food. This new analysis updates and builds on state data concerning food hardship in 2008-2009 that FRAC released in January 2010.