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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 11:52am

More Georgians Hungry

Updated: 5 years ago.
More than 14 percent of Georgians don't have access to enough nutritious food. (photo courtesy USDA)

A growing number of Georgians have trouble getting enough food. That’s according to USDA statistics.

Advocates say the state needs to do a better job to reach out to the newly poor and hungry.

Georgia ranks 4th highest in the nation for food insecurity. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that means 14.2 percent of Georgians do not have access to enough nutritious food for an active and healthy life.

Georgia did much better a decade ago when it ranked 22nd in the nation. The latest statistics were taken from 2006 through 2008.

Sarah Beth Gehl with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says the state needs to get more people into the federal food stamp program.

"This recession is so great, and there’s so much job loss, that there are a lot of families eligible who don’t know that they are eligible," Gehl says.

Gehl worries that with more budget cuts expected next year, state workers who connect people with federal programs could be laid off. Statistics show that in May of this year, 27 percent more Georgians received food stamps than in May of 2008.

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