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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

21.3 Percent of U.S. Population Participates in Government Assistance Programs Each Month

“Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. Participation rates were highest for Medicaid (15.3 percent) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program (13.4 percent). The average monthly participation rate in major means-tested programs increased from 18.6 percent in 2009 to 20.9 percent in 2011. However, from 2011 to 2012, there was no statistically significant change in the percentage of people who participated. From 2009 to 2012, the average monthly participation rates for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and SNAP increased, while the rate decreased for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/General Assistance. “Participation in government programs is dynamic,” said Shelley Irving, an analyst with the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. “The Survey of Income and Program Participation shows how individuals move in and out of government programs and how long they participate in them.” The largest share of participants (43.0 percent) in any of the public assistance programs stayed in the programs between 37 and 48 months. Additionally, 31.2 percent of people participated between one and 12 months between January 2009 and December 2012. The report, Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Participation in Government Programs 2009–2012: Who Gets Assistance?, follows a sample of U.S. residents through the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Statistics are presented for the major means-tested programs by various demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and statistical comparisons are made to data collected from 2009 to 2012. A means test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for government assistance, based on whether the individual or family has income and/or assets that fall below specified thresholds.”

State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report

“The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has released a study, entitled State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, conducted by Dr. James P. Ziliak and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen. Commissioned by NFESH, this report reveals that 15.5 percent of seniors or 9.6 million individuals age 60 or older in theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Airport Finance, Domestic Food Assistance, Federal Employees Compensation, Older Adults, Surface Ships

Airport Finance: Information on Funding Sources and Planned Capital Development, GAO-15-306: Published: Apr 28, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015. Army Force Structure: Observations about Aviation Restructuring and Other Relevant Force Structure Challenges, D10389: May 20, 2015 Contingent Workforce: Size, Characteristics, Earnings, and Benefits, GAO-15-168R: Published: Apr 20, 2015. Publicly Released: May 20, 2015. DomesticContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Afghanistan, Nutrition Assistance, Rural Housing, School Meals, Aviation Safety, Defense Contracting, Regulatory Guidance Process

Afghanistan: Embassy Construction Cost and Schedule Have Increased, and Further Facilities Planning Is Needed, GAO-15-410: Published: May 19, 2015. Publicly Released: May 19, 2015. Nutrition Assistance: Actions Needed to Address Potential Online Sales of Infant Formula, GAO-15-605T: Published: May 19, 2015. Publicly Released: May 19, 2015. Rural Housing Service: Progress on GAO Recommendations and PreliminaryContinue Reading

Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food in the United States?

“In an e360 video, filmmaker Karim Chrobog looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. The video focuses on Washington, D.C., which has taken steps to see that food ends up with those who need it rather than in landfills. First in aContinue Reading

World Happiness Report 2015

“Since it was first published in 2012, the World Happiness Report demonstrated that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy. This year’s report looks at the changes in happiness levels in 158 countries, and examines the reasons behind the statistics. The WorldContinue Reading

State of the World’s Mothers 2015

“In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report with a special focus on our rapidly urbanizing world and the poorest mothers and children who must struggle to survive despite overall urban progress. Every day, 17,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday. Increasingly, theseContinue Reading

Review of USDA’s Approach to Meat and Poultry Safety

The Promise and Problems of HACCP: A Review of USDA’s Approach to Meat and Poultry Safety was made possible by support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The findings and conclusions are exclusively the work of Consumer Federation of America and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pew. “The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionContinue Reading

Consumer Reports – How safe is your shrimp?

Consumer Reports – “Each of us eats, on average, almost 4 pounds per year, making shrimp more popular than tuna. Once considered a special-occasion treat, shrimp has become so ubiquitous that we now expect to find it on the menu whether we’re at a pricey restaurant or a fast-food joint. In fact, Americans eat aboutContinue Reading

Food security in the twenty-first century

Ian Goldin: “There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources inContinue Reading

NOAA – Status of US Fishing Stocks 2014

Overfishing and Overfished Numbers Hit All-Time Lows – “As a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils, and all our partners, the number of stocks listed as subject to overfishing or overfished continues to decline and is at an all-time low. Status of Stocks 2014 Report Press release AdditionalContinue Reading

Consumer Reports – America’s best supermarket – and worst

See how your grocer stacks up when it comes to high-quality fruits, vegetables, and store-made meals, April 2, 2015 “When the typical shopper makes each of 83 yearly grocery trips (running up an annual tab of about $5,400), he or she is demanding a wider-than-ever choice of healthy, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish—as wellContinue Reading