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Study: One Percent NH Increase Means Many More Face Daily Hunger Struggle

September 9, 2013

CONCORD, N.H. - Most families in New Hampshire take for granted that when it's time to eat, there will be food on the table, but a report indicates that, in fact, it's a daily struggle for many. The just-released report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows food insecurity numbers have jumped by 1 percent since 2007.

While that may not sound like much, Bruce Wilson, director of operations, New Hampshire Food Bank, said those numbers reveal an across-the-board problem for Granite Staters.

"All age categories, from young children all the way up to senior citizens and everyone in between, you see here in the greater Manchester area," Wilson said. "A prime example: One in four children are going to be hungry at night."

The report shows a spike nationwide in food insecurity during and after the recession. Between 2003 and 2007, it affected about 37 million households. By 2012, that number ballooned to almost 50 million.

Jim Weill, president, Food Research and Action Center, warned that further cuts now in SNAP benefits would be devastating. He said benefit levels will decrease soon, no matter what Congress does, because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding that increased food stamp benefits is due to expire.

"Benefits are going to go down on Nov. 1 by $29 a month for a household of three. That's more than $300 a year, which is huge if you're living on $8,000, $10,000, $12,000, $14,000 a year," Weill said.

September is Hunger Action Month, and more information about efforts to help 130,000 local people fight hunger is available at the New Hampshire Food Bank website, www.NHFoodBank.org.

The full report is available at http://ers.usda.gov.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH