For those interested in pursuing an in-depth analysis of the federal bailout and stimulus plans and how each is progressing, the Columbia Journalism Review provides a good, solid and reasonably comprehensive review of sources in Bailout! Stimulus! Your Essential Guide.
If you’re interested in learning more about the questions posed in our earlier posts Food Insecurity Rises and Food Stamp Usage Soars, you may be interested in a more comprehensive review of the topic from the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
Measuring Food Security in the United States: Household Food Security in the United States, 2008 is a fifty-eight page review of American food security, nutrition and food assistance. The abstract of the document explains its basic thrust:
“Eighty-five percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2008, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.6 percent) were food insecure t least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security — meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Prevalence rates of food insecurity and very low food security were up from 11.1 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, in 2007, and were the highest recorded since 1995, when the fi rst national food security survey was conducted. The typical food-secure household spent 31 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Fifty-five percent of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to the 2008 survey.”
One of every four American children and one in every eight Americans uses food stamps to meet their nutritional needs, reports the New York Times.
Last week we briefly discussed the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service’s evidence that rising food insecurity characterizes these recessionary times. Now, the Times supplements this information by reporting that “there are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population receives food stamps.” Indeed, in more than 800 counties, the food stamp program “helps feed one in three children. In the Mississippi River cities of St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, half of the children or more receive food stamps. Even in Peoria, Ill. — Everytown, U.S.A. — nearly 40 percent of children receive aid.”
And food stamp usage is growing at a rapid pace. “There are about 50 small counties and a dozen sizable ones where the rolls have doubled in the last two years. In another 205 counties, they have risen by at least two-thirds. These places with soaring rolls include populous Riverside County, Calif., most of greater Phoenix and Las Vegas, a ring of affluent Atlanta suburbs, and a 150-mile stretch of southwest Florida from Bradenton to the Everglades.”
And yet there are perhaps another 15 to 16 million eligible Americans who do not receive nutritional aid. Nationwide, food stamps reach about two-thirds of those eligible, with rates ranging from an estimated 50 percent in California to 98 percent in Missouri.”
The Wichita Eagle reports today that Haysville is the safest city in the state for drivers. “The city of Haysville recorded just more than 30 traffic accidents per 1,000 residents from 2004 through 2008,” they aver, “the lowest rate among Kansas cities with 10,000 or more residents. The city recorded no traffic fatalities during those years.” These statistics, secured from the Kansas Department of Transportation, indicate that the next safest city (Gardner) had an accident rate over the five-year span nearly double that of Haysville.