In 2009, 14.7% of U.S. households were insecure, meaning that at some point during the year these households were uncertain of having, or unable to obtain, enough food. In addition to tracking and reporting on hunger in the United States, USDA plays a significant role in helping families acquire food through a myriad of nutrition programs (15 in all), inluding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the National School Lunch Program.
An area of USDA support for finding solutions to hunger that may be overlooked is through our National Instutite for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency within the Department that supports research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. Last week we annouced eight awards totaling more than $18 million, made through the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI), that are supporting local and regional food systems while investigating sustainable solutions to food access within those regions. Here’s a list of the projects: