Hunger is on the rise in major cities across the United States, according to a new survey released Wednesday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
In the survey of mayors in 25 major American cities, 83 percent said requests for emergency food aid had increased over last year while budgets for emergency food purchases increased by less than one percent. Across all 25 cities, 21 percent of those applying for assistance did not receive it.
Causes of hunger cited in the survey were, in order: Unemployment, low wages, poverty and high housing costs. Among people requesting food aid, according to the survey, 43 percent were employed, 58 percent were in families, 21 percent were elderly, and 9 percent were homeless.
The survey comes while Congress mulls cutting SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps, in negotiations over the farm bill.