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2009 U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Survey Shows Increased Food Need

December 09, 2009

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has released its 2009 Hunger and Homelessness Survey and it shows the steepest increase in demand for food assistance in 18 years along with an increase in the number of families experiencing homelessness, and a drop, or leveling off, in the number of homeless single adults.

The report presents the results of a survey of 27 cities whose mayors are members of the Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Respondents were asked to provide information on emergency food assistance and homeless services provided between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Not all cities replied to every question.

Secretary Donovan, who chairs the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, said that one of the most tragic consequences of our housing and economic crisis are those who fall into homelessness as a result – whether through foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, or other financial problems. The Secretary noted that with increases in rural and suburban family homelessness, the issue is not an urban problem, but one every community struggles with.  He said, “As diverse as our homeless population is, there is one thing that everyone who is homeless shares: a lack of housing they can afford.  And as this study finds, high housing costs often lead families to cut back on necessities like food.”

Read the full report on the U.S. Conference of Mayors website.