Hunger on the Rise in the USA

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More than 25 (m) million people turned to the nation's biggest provider of meals for the poor last year. America's Second Harvest says the number of hungry was up nine percent from five years ago.

The total included nine (m) million children and nearly three (m) million senior citizens.

The organization says its survey of member food banks, soup kitchens and shelters around the country last year found more than a-third of the patrons came from households in which at least one person had a job. More than a-third came from households receiving food stamps.

And after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the group says demand for emergency food assistance tripled in Gulf Coast states.