If you are poor, hungry live in Missouri, you don’t need a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tell you how bad things are. Those Missourians who are more fortunate need to know.
Every year, the USDA issuesits “food security” report, which analyzes hunger problems across the country. In Missouri, the news is very, very bad.
In a state that is getting used to ranking poorly in things that count — like education funding, poverty and health-care outcomes — Missouri is No. 1 in a dubious categoryfor the second year in a row.
Over the past decade, as a percentage of population, more Missourians have fallen into hunger, defined in the report as “very low food security,” than in any state in the nation.
All of Missouri’s rankings in the hunger report got worse in 2013 compared to 2012.
Nearly 17 percent of Missourians reported being food insecure, meaning at least once last year, in most cases several times, they skipped meals for lack of money. That’s the fifth-highest percentage in the nation, up two spots from 7th the year before.
Worse, more than 8 percent of Missourians reported more severe hunger, defined as “very low food security,” second only to Arkansas in terms of the dubious ranking.
Here’s where the numbers get really bad, and they don’t show up in the USDA report: Over the past year, as Missouri’s hunger problems got worse, fewer Missourians had access to food stamps to help feed their families.
Worst hunger in the nation. Two years running. Got worse last year.
Not Mississippi. Missouri
Those are some sick, sick statistics, Missouri. We need to do things about this.