While families across the country gather around the dinner table during this holiday season, there is a different, far less cheery scenario playing out for millions of other Americans. They're the ones who go hungry, and for whom food — and enough of it — is a daily struggle. According to Feeding America, more than 42 million people now suffer from hunger throughout the nation.
In the midst of a recovering economy, low unemployment and nearly nonexistent inflation, the fact remains that nearly 1 in 7 Americans still goes to bed hungry each night. According to recent statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 15.8 million U.S. households — that's 12.7 percent of the total — didn't have enough food to eat at some point last year, the latest period for which numbers are available.
That's a tick down from the 14 percent of households that didn't have adequate food (or what the USDA defines as "food insecure") in 2014, but the numbers are still higher than where they were just a decade ago. Adding to the crisis is the fact that by the end of this year, up to 1 million Americans will have lost food-stamp benefits because of changes in the law that affect eligibility.