AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Thanksgiving holiday period brings images of feasting and bountiful food. But a government report says 195,000 Mainers — nearly 15 percent of the state’s households — struggle with food insecurity.
That’s defined in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report as people who had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for their families.
Clara McConnell of the Good Shepherd Food Bank tells the Kennebec Journal in Augusta that the number of people who need help getting food has continued to swell since the economic downturn began in 2008. Good Shepherd provides food to 600 food banks and pantries statewide.
The USDA report says 14.8 percent of Maine households were food insecure between 2007 and 2009, the years during which the data was collected. The national average of food-insecure households during the period was 13.5 percent.