In 2009, nearly 1 in every 5 children in the United States lived in families that used emergency food assistance through Feeding America, the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. Higher shares of Hispanic and black children used emergency food assistance than white children, reflecting their higher rates of poverty. While the majority of families using emergency food assistance also accessed at least one of the federal nutrition assistance programs, only one in four received food stamps. The high demand for private food assistance demonstrates the extreme need in 2009 caused by high unemployment and poverty.
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