Between 1998 and 2000, food insecurity fell by 11 percent and hunger by 16 percent. The declines were widespread, affecting most regions and types of households. For the year ending September 2000, nearly 90 percent of American households were food secure for the entire year. The rest were food insecure at least some time during the year, meaning they did not always have access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members. This report, based on data from the September 2000 food security survey, provides the most recent statistics on the food security of U.S. house- holds, as well as on how much they spent on food and the extent to which food-inse- cure households participated in Federal and community food assistance programs. The authors estimate that the typical U.S. household spent 36 percent more than the cost of USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan, while the typical food-insecure household spent 4 percent more. One-half of all food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three largest Federal food assistance programs in the month before the survey. About 17 per- cent of food-insecure households—2.4 percent of all U.S. households—obtained emer- gency food from a food pantry at some time during the year.


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