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The list: 6 facts about hunger in the U.S.

USPS employees collect food donations
Employees and volunteers at the Vero Beach, FL, Post Office organize more than 98,000 pounds of food during last year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive.

Postal Service employees will collect donations for local pantries Saturday, May 12, during the 26th Annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Here are some facts from Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, along with information about Stamp Out Hunger.

1. Forty-two million people in the United States — or about 1 in 8 Americans — are at risk for hunger. These individuals are deemed food insecure,” meaning they don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. This group includes 13 million children and about 5 million people who are age 50 and older.

2. Not all food insecure households are impoverished. Poverty and hunger in the United States often go hand in hand, but they aren’t the same. Poverty is one of several factors that contribute to food insecurity, along with unemployment, lower household assets and demographic characteristics. Not everyone who struggles with hunger qualifies for federal nutrition assistance.

3. While hunger is harmful for everyone, it can be especially devastating to children. Children who grow up in food-insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life. Children who are food insecure are more likely to require hospitalization, and they may be at a greater risk of truancy and school tardiness.

4. Seniors face a number of unique medical and mobility challenges that put them at a greater risk of hunger. Sixty-three percent of seniors in households served by Feeding America must choose between buying groceries and paying for medical care.

5. Minorities are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty. An estimated 1 in 5 African-American households and 1 in 5 Latinos are food insecure, compared to 1 in 10 white Americans.

6. Stamp Out Hunger is the nation’s largest one-day food drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers organizes the drive, which has collected more than 1.6 billion pounds of food since it began in 1993. The Stamp Out Hunger site has more information.

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