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Millions without enough food and billionaires with more
The world’s billionaires added $800 billion to their already obscene wealth in one year at the same time that tens of millions of people in the United States — not to mention billions of others around the world — go hungry.
Two reports were issued in recent days that make for a jarring, albeit not surprising, juxtaposition. One, the Forbes magazine annual list of the world’s richest people, was met with widespread breathless reporting. The other, a comprehensive survey of the large numbers of people who don’t have enough to eat in the United States, passed almost without a trace.
Because it merits far more attention than it received, let’s start with the second report. Issued by the Food Research and Action Center, the report “Food Hardship in America 2012” found that 18.2 percent of people living in the U.S. have insufficient access to food, based on the number of respondents who answered yes to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”
That is close to one in five. Or, to put it another way, 57 million people in the United States — the richest country on Earth — face going hungry.
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