Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).As we pray these words from the Lord’s Prayer many of us have never had to worry about being hungry, about where our next meal was coming from. In my own life the only time I was truly hungry was when I was in grad school. I was living on my own and had enough money to pay the rent and utilities so the only option to go without was food. The hardest call at that point in my life I ever had to make was to call my parents and ask for some money for food. But I wasn’t completely without food. I was just so low on food that my stomach was always hungry. Since then I have only ever been hungry when I have fasted either to raise money for hunger or during lent as a weekly practice to forgo food for a day. I am one of the lucky ones. There are an estimated 925 million people hungry in the world. This is 1 in 7 people. Most of these are not in industrialized nations. In America
- In 2009, 50.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33 million adults and 17.2 million children
- In 2009, 14.7 percent of households (17.4 million households) were food insecure.
- In 2009, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
- In 2009, households with children reported food insecurity at almost double the rate for those without children, 21.3 percent compared to 11.4 percent.
- In 2009, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (21.3 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.6 percent) or single men (27.8 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (24.9 percent) and Hispanic households (26.9 percent).
- In 2009, 7.8 percent of seniors living alone (884,000 households) were food insecure.