Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Reason for Thanks

Among the many reasons to to be grateful this Thanksgiving week, anti-hunger advocates celebrate the improvements we have made in addressing hunger in our state.

The latest report on Food Security from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that tireless efforts of many state agencies and organizations have borne fruit.

The USDA report shows a reduction in the percentage of people who are food insecure in our state for 2007-2009 at 14.7%, compared with 16.1% in 2004-2006 (scroll down to pages 20 and 21).

Here's the assessment from Nancy Pope, director of the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger
This means we have helped 28,000 New Mexicans move out of food insecurity.
As we humbly give thanks and recognize that we are no longer in the top 10 states in food insecurity (we are 11th), we also acknowledge that at 14.7% rate of food insecurity still leaves tens of thousands of people hungry  That's way too many.

For many states, food insecurity worsened.  For example, in Oregon, the rate rose to 13.9% in 2007-2009 from 11.9% in 2004-2006.  In Washington state, it went from 10.3% to 14%; from 15.9% to 17.4% in Texas; from 12% to 12.2% in Colorado.  But there were some improvements in some of the poorer states.  In Louisiana, the percentage of households with low food security declined to 10% from 14.4.% and Mississippi from 18.1% to 17.1%.

Here's what David Sarasohn wrote in Portland newspaper The Oregonian:
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released new hunger statistics that might be called hair-raising, especially in Oregon. In 2009, according to the USDA, more than 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, lived in what it calls "low food security" households.

We are thankful for the reduction in the number of hungry people in some U.S. states, including our own state of New Mexico, and humbly accept the work that is still before us.

No comments: