The number of poor Americans who repeatedly ran short of food shot up by 800,000 in 2011 to nearly 17 million compared with 2010, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.
The Department of Agriculture said in a report that about 5.5 percent of Americans, or nearly 17 million, suffered “very low food security” last year, meaning they had to skip meals or not eat for a day because of a lack of money to buy food. That is a rise of 800,000 over the prior year, it said.

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