Thanksgiving food for thought: Nearly 20 million Americans don’t have enough to eat

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To prepare for Thanksgiving, millions of Americans flock to grocery stores or watch YouTube GOOG,
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Video on the art of Turkish carving.

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But amid mixed economic recovery, millions of Americans are worried about having no food on their plates this Thanksgiving – let alone turkey.

There are about 4 million fewer Americans unemployed as of Thanksgiving this year than last year. And last week new unemployment claims fell to 199,000 – the lowest level of initial claims since November 1969.

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Yet nearly 20 million American households did not have enough food to eat from September 29 to October 11, according to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey.

,Federal SNAP spending increased from $7.6 billion to $10.4 billion from June 2020 to August 2021 – a 37% jump. In the same time frame, food insecurity rates dropped by 38 percent.,

According to a Household Pulse survey conducted from September 30 to October 12, 2020, around the same time last year, around 22.7 million households experienced recent insecurity.

The drop in household food insecurity rates from a year ago has a lot to do with increased federal spending on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (also known as food stamps) and stimulus aid such as direct relief checks and increased unemployment benefits. Is. a report good Published Wednesday by Hunger Free America, a non-profit organization.

Federal SNAP spending increased from $7.6 billion to $10.4 billion from June 2020 to August 2021 – a 37% jump. Over the same time frame, the food insecurity rate dropped by 38%.

But rates started rising as a result of the end of the pandemic stimulus program in October, the report suggested.

That same month the US Department of Agriculture’s historic SNAP benefit increase, which the agency announced in August, went into effect. According to the USDA, some 42 million Americans receiving SNAP benefits began receiving an average of $157 in food benefits each month, a $36 monthly increase before the pandemic.

Food insecurity takes a toll on older Americans

Americans over the age of 65 are being affected the most. They were the only adult age group who experienced higher rates of food insecurity this October than last year, according to census data.

Rising food costs are partly to blame for higher rates among Americans 65 or older, said Jenny Young, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels, a national nonprofit group that distributes food and aid to seniors. provides.

According to the Consumer Price Index, grocery prices have risen 5.4% over the past year — one of the biggest increases in the past two decades. Meat, chicken, dairy, eggs, sugar and coffee are among the products whose prices have increased significantly in the last one year.

On top of this, supply chain issues are making it harder for seniors to get the foods they want.

,Grocery prices have risen 5.4% over the past year – one of the biggest increases in the past two decades, according to the Consumer Price Index.,


–Jenny Young, vice president of communications at Miles on Wheels

“Not only do these disruptions and growth directly impact the wallets of vulnerable older adults, but community-based programs are also feeling a significant strain,” Young told Businesshala.

“These increased costs have a direct consequence on the budget and the number of meals and individuals they are able to serve,” she said, referring to the 5,000+ community-based Meals on Wheels programs in the US.

As of July 2021, Meals on Wheels has program data for the most recent month, with most of these programs still serving an average of 57% more meals weekly than before the pandemic began.

,‘These increased costs have a direct impact on the budget and number of meals and individuals they are able to serve’,

Nearly half (48%) of the programs said they would not be able to support their current customer base without external funding in addition to their usual sources.

Don’t miss: American families throw away $1,500 in uneaten food every year—how to downvote this Thanksgiving?

And 10 Ways You Can Help Other People This Thanksgiving: ‘Meal Help Is Always Needed’

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