Who is hungry in America? The pandemic has changed the answer.
Before the pandemic, rates of food insecurity in the United States had been declining during the longest economic expansion in the country’s history. The percentage of households that were food insecure for at least some portion of the year had dropped from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
But within those households, that still represented 35.2 million Americans worried about a low-quality diet or even when they would get their next meal.
The pandemic recession has pushed a further 9.8 million Americans into food insecurity
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed hardship on millions of vulnerable Americans through unemployment and reduced work hours. And this has increased food insecurity across the nation.
There is no official figure yet for how many more families are struggling to provide regular meals around the table – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s next annual report on food insecurity, defined as a lack of access to sufficient food due to limited financial resources, won’t be out until the fall.
The American Rescue Plan: Giant strides forward on child poverty
The “seed experiment” is a favorite science project from preschool on up: A child plants identical seeds in two pots. She places the first pot inside a dark closet and leaves it there. She then puts the second one in a sunny spot and waters it every day, and waits to see what will happen. It’s very easy for even the youngest children to figure out that their seedlings need the basics — sunlight and water — if they are going to survive and thrive.