Hunger in the United States
Hunger in the United States is an issue that affects millions of Americans, including some who are middle class, or who are in households where all adults are in work. Research from the Food Safety and Inspection Service found that 14.9% of American households were food insecure during 2011, with 5.7% suffering from very low food security. Journalists and charity workers have reported further increased demand for emergency food aid during 2012 and 2013.The United States produces far more food than it needs for domestic consumption - hunger within the U.S. is caused by some Americans having insufficient money to buy food for themselves or their families. Hunger is addressed by a mix of public and private food aid provision. Both types of aid have been expanding in the 21st century, with hunger relief efforts by the government growing faster than aid provided by civil society.Historically, the U.S. has been a world leader in reducing hunger. While precise comparative figures are not available, studies suggest that in the 18th century there was far less hunger in the United States than in the rest of the world. In the 19th and early 20th century western Europe began to catch up. After the outbreak of World War I however, the U.S. was able to send tens of millions of tons of food to relieve severe hunger in Europe. This act was unprecedented in the world's history, and was the first of many substantial actions by the United States to relieve international hunger and poverty.In the later half the of twentieth century, other advanced economies in Europe and Asia began to overtake the U.S. in terms of reducing hunger among their own populations. In 2011, a report presented in the New York Times found that among 20 economies recognized as advanced by the International Monetary Fund and for which comparative rankings for food security were available, the U.S. was joint worst. Nonetheless, in March 2013, the Global Food Security Index commissioned by DuPont, ranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security.