Rising Food Costs Leave Hungry Americans $33bn Behind, Report Says

By Reuters
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Rising Food Costs Leave Hungry Americans $33bn Behind, Report Says

Hungry people in the US faced a $33.1 billion (€30.5 billion) shortfall in funds for basic food needs in 2022, but nearly half of them will not qualify for aid, according to a report by national anti-hunger group Feeding America.

The shortfall is the highest in 20 years when adjusted for inflation and was driven in part by higher food prices, said the report, which analysed the most recently available data from the US Department of Agriculture, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

Hunger rose in 2022 in the US amid high food price inflation and as economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic flagged among low-income Americans.

Seventeen million households struggled to get enough food in 2022, up from 13.5 million households in 2021, the USDA reported last year.

During the pandemic, federal financial support and expanded food aid programmes kept hunger rates steady, but the end of those programmes has contributed to rising hunger.


Food Insecurity

There are food-insecure people in every county and state in the US, and about 90% of counties with high food insecurity are rural, according to the Feeding America report.

Nearly half of food-insecure people may not qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme, the nation's largest food aid programme, because their incomes are too high, the report said.

"Elevated food prices and the hard choice between other household expenses like electricity, childcare or medical bills is making hunger in America worse," Linda Nageotte, Feeding America president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Congress earlier this year expanded funding for a key nutrition programme serving mothers and young children after anti-hunger groups and the White House warned that millions of eligible families were at risk of being turned away.


A group of 40 House and Senate lawmakers on Monday sent a letter to the Biden administration urging executive antitrust action to curb food company profits and lower prices.

Read More: World Food Prices Up In April For Second Month, Says UN Agency

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