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USDA: CT Food Insecurity Up 44%

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September 13, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - Food insecurity means people don't always know where their next meal is coming from... and in Connecticut, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12.7 percent of the households do not have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living. That represents a 44 percent increase from the last report, and it's putting a lot of pressure on organizations that are trying to help.

Diana Goode, executive director of Gifts of Love in Avon, a group that works to provide people with food and other basic necessities, says many people are falling through the cracks in the system.

"A lot of our clients don't qualify for government services because they make too much money. So, we have a lot of double-income families that are now single-income families, and still don't qualify for anything."

For the annual USDA survey, nearly 3,000 Connecticut households were polled. Organizations such as Foodshare, which is the greater Hartford area regional food bank, provide food to such organizations as Gifts of Love to help alleviate food insecurity.

Goode says these economic times also make it difficult for groups that are trying to help, because people are strapped.

"More with less: We have seen an increase in donations, but the donations are smaller."

While the number of food-insecure families in Connecticut was up, the report says the percentage of households nationwide in that situation remained essentially unchanged from 2009 to 2010.

The report is at www.ers.usda.gov

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - CT