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Study: 1 in 7 CT Families Struggle to Put Food on Table

September 9, 2013

EAST HAVEN, Conn. - Millions of people in Connecticut take for granted that when it's time to eat, there will be food on the table, but a new report indicates that, in fact, it's a daily struggle for many. The just-released report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the the number of Connecticut households facing hunger issues has jumped by two percent since 2007.

According to Mary Ingarra, communications director for the Connecticut Food Bank based in East Haven, local residents of all ages are going hungry.

"More than one in seven households in Connecticut are food insecure, meaning they don't always know where their next meal is coming from," she said. "Nearly 5 percent of those households are very low; people are cutting back or skipping meals altogether."

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

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

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

September is Hunger Action Month, and you can learn more about the Connecticut Food Bank's efforts to help more than 150,000 hungry children in the state on their website.

See the full report at ers.usda.gov.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT