Nationally, the rate of households facing limited or uncertain availability of food, what the federal government calls food insecurity, has been rising, reaching its highest point in four years. From 1999 to 2002, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of such households rose by about 15 percent, or about 1.5 million, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, bringing the number to just over 12 million. Patty Dowling, executive director of Shoreline Soup Kitchens, which serves 11 coastal towns in Connecticut, estimates that 80 percent of her clients are working, mostly in low-wage jobs with no benefits. Lynn Needelman, executive director of Long Island Cares, a food bank on Long Island, said the demand is the greatest she has seen in her 17 years there.
Source: Adrienne Lu, "Hunger a Growing Problem in Suburbs," The New York Times, 3/23/04, A23