SEATTLE (AP) — The abundance of summer fruits and vegetables filling Washington supermarkets are a colorful but ironic contrast to some new statistics coming out the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week. The numbers show hunger in the state has grown significantly since the recession started.
From 2008 to the end of 2011, the number of hungry families in Washington grew from about 88,000 to 163,000. The USDA reports only six other states had hunger growth rates that were higher than Washington between 2010 and 2011.
Hunger in Washington state is now above the national average, and worse than hunger levels in both Oregon and Idaho. In 2011, 15.4 percent of Washington households reported some level of food insecurity, which means they regularly struggle to get enough food for their families.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.