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hunger action month

USDA's Iftar Dinner Reflects a Common Calling - Rebuilding and Strengthening Communities in Need

As Hunger Action Month comes to a close, I am reminded of an employee event we held last month in honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. For many followers of the Islamic faith, the month of Ramadan – known as a time of fasting and sacrifice – is also a time of reflection.  As we deal with hunger and thirst from sunrise to sunset, we are reminded of those who deal with hunger – and poverty – every day. As we reflect on our spiritual responsibilities, we must also recall our obligation to help others in times of need.  For Muslim employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), this holds especially true.

USDA touches the lives of every American.  Our nutrition and food safety programs ensure that all America’s children have access to safe, nutritious, balanced meals, while our rural development programs promote prosperous, self-sustaining communities.  Our conservation programs protect our national forests and private working lands, while our agricultural support programs promote American agriculture and biotechnology while increasing food security around the world.

The Importance of Feeding the Hungry

Ever wonder exactly how many Americans struggle to put food on table?  It’s a question pondered more and more during a tough economy.  Today, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has shed some light on these conditions with their annual analysis of Americans’ success in feeding themselves and their families.

The report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2010, provides an important analysis of how well people are faring on this front during difficult economic times.

In 2010, just over 85 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year.  However, about 17.2 million households were unable, at some point in the year, to provide either enough food or adequate food for at least one member due to a lack of resources.  That equates to nearly 49 million people in the United States – roughly one in six – who lived in a food insecure household in 2010.