For 30 years on this day, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has organized World Food Day, to help bring awareness of global hunger and food insecurity. As I learned at this time last year, the numbers tell this story better than any analysis or punditry.
This week, I went back to the numbers to see what a difference a year (and a global recession) can make.
6.8 billion, up from 6.7 billion (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
The world's "undernourished”: consuming less than the minimum calories necessary to maintain minimum bodily functions. (Source: FAO)
1.02 billion, up from 923 million
The undernourished in the developing world
985 million, up from 907 million (Source: FAO)
People living on $1.25 or less per day (Source: World Bank)
1.4 billion, no on-the-record change for 2009, but in a paper presented to the G-20 summit last month in Pittsburgh (see page 8), the World Bank estimates that by the end of 2010, there will be an additional 89 million people who fit this criteria.
35.8 million, as of July 2009, up from 29 million in July 2008 (Source: Food Research and Action Center)
Percentage of population on food stamps
12 percent, up from 9.65 percent
Daily allotment for a family of four on food stamps
$11.46, up from $7, an $80/month increase due to the American Recovery & Investment Act of 2009, which went into effect in April, 2009
Originally published on True/Slant.