Drought’s impact on food prices could worsen hunger in America

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Jason Sickle
Aug. 21, 2012

More than 18 percent of Americans say there have been times this year when they couldn’t afford the food they needed, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.

That plight could grow because of the country’s worst drought in half a century. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned last month that Americans should expect to pay 3 to 5 percent more for groceries next year because of the drought.

“While Americans are no more likely to struggle to afford food thus far in 2012 than in the past, more residents may face problems as the drought-related crop damage results in a shortage of inputs in the food supply and begins to affect retail prices,” the Gallup report stated.

The Gallup findings come from telephone surveys conducted with 177,662 U.S. adults from January through June 2012. They asked 1,000 Americans each day if there have been times in the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed.

The worst responses came from Mississippi, where one in four residents reported struggling to put food on the table.

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