Thanks to food assistance programs like SNAP, childhood hunger is on the decline

According to encouraging numbers just released by the U.S. government, there was a big drop in families struggling to find their next meal.

new report by the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reveals that 15.8 million U.S. households experienced what is referred to as “food insecurity” at some point during 2015, compared to about 17.4 million households in 2014.

“Food insecurity” simply means due to lack of money or resources, a family has a difficult time getting enough food, or the right kinds of foods on the table on a regular basis.

From NPR:

Most of the time, these families shield children from hunger. The adults will go without meals so the kids can eat. Still, the government says there were about 274,000 households in 2015 in which children went hungry at some point during the year. As bad as that was, it was the lowest level since before the Great Recession and a big decline from 2014 — when 422,000 families reported that their children went hungry at some point.

Government programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) have been credited by the Department of Agriculture for the decrease. Around 59 percent of food-insecure families received some government food assistance last year.

Overall, the government found that hunger and food insecurity declined in just about every category — in black families and Hispanic families, in families with children and in those without. Even so, those on the front lines say they’re seeing some pockets of growing need.

Anti-hunger advocates are excited about the report, saying it shows the biggest one-year improvement in reducing food insecurity since the Great Recession.

You can listen to NPR’s report on the story in the audio link below:

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