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Report: One in Six Nevada Households Struggles with Hunger

PHOTO: One in six households in Nevada continues to struggle with hunger, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photo Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency.
PHOTO: One in six households in Nevada continues to struggle with hunger, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photo Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency.
September 5, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Despite the U.S. economy growing - and even thriving, in some sectors - a new federal report finds that one in six Nevada households struggles with hunger.

Jocelyn Lantrip, director of marketing for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, said research released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that from 2011 to 2013, 16 percent of Nevadans were "food-insecure" - meaning they don't always have enough food to eat.

"The numbers are telling us that we still are in a lot of trouble when it comes to hunger in our area," she said, "and it just really underscores the need for federal nutrition programs."

Lantrip said she believes the USDA numbers show the need for Congress to reauthorize the "Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act," which expires next year. It funds all the federal child-nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs. It also is the funding source for the "Women, Infants and Children" program, commonly referred to as WIC.

Lantrip said many of the Nevadans who get assistance from the food bank work, but don't earn enough money to cover their food bill.

"About half of them are children and seniors," she said. "We have parents that, maybe both had full-time jobs before, and now they may be working part-time - less hours, less pay, and they just can't make ends meet."

Nationally, USDA reported, more than 17 million American households, made up of 49 million people, faced hunger in 2013, a number statistically unchanged from 2012.

The report is online at ers.usda.gov. Nevada information is on Page 19.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV