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Hormel survey Hunger in U.S. worsens

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

America’s hunger problem is growing worse, mostly as a result of climbing food and fuel costs.

That is what an Internet survey by Hormel Foods Corp. in Austin concluded. Hormel, which conducted the survey in conjunction with the Second Harvest food bank, released the results this week.

About 64 percent of the 807 surveyed said hunger is worse than it was in 2006. Nearly two-thirds of those asked said they had to cut back on food prices because of higher costs.

Nearly one in five said they or someone in their family had received food from a charity organization in the past year. In past month, 13 percent said they or someone in their family had gone to bed hungry.

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While 63 percent blame the economy for the problem, ethanol was also named as a major cause. The survey found that 47 percent oppose government subsidies for ethanol production because they believe it will spur higher food prices.

This is the second year that Hormel has conducted a national study on hunger. Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger cited hunger as a major problem facing the United States but one that can be solved.

"Ending hunger is not only a moral imperative, it is an attainable goal," he stated in the announcement of the survey results.

Toward that end, Hormel is hosting an Ohio Hunger Summit today in Cincinnati, Ohio, where for-profit, non-profit and elected leaders will discuss how they can collaborate to battle hunger. This is the second hunger summit sponsored by Hormel. The first was held in Minnesota in 2006.

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