The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported the number of people participating in the Federal food assistance program rose about a million people from 28 million to 29 million in the latest reporting period. The report only counts people receiving food through USDA, not private food donations, so the actual incidences of food insecurity may be higher.

Given what has been going on in the macro-economy the rise in food insecurity is not surprising. The whole country is hurting right now, but those who were already hurting are now hurting even more. I’m glad congress finally passed the bailout (sorry, “rescue package”). I know it was riddled with pork, and not the kind being served by the USDA. But the bailout package was the right thing to do for the whole country. Without access to credit, businesses won’t be able to get capital needed to create jobs, and we’ll have more months like September when we lost 159,000 jobs.