After touring food banks across Tennessee, Marcia Wells was not surprised by the latest statistics showing that more Americans are living in poverty today than at any time since the Census Bureau began first publishing the number 52 years ago.
In the US, 2.6 million people fell into poverty last year, the bureau reported on Tuesday. There are now 46.2 million Americans living below the poverty line, and many of them show up at food banks like the one where Wells works.
“We have seen an increase in the number of food insecure households since the recession started,” Wells, a communications representative at the Mid-South Food Bank, told Al Jazeera. “The statistics didn’t come as a surprise because poverty and unemployment go hand-in-hand with food insecurity.”