Last year at about this time I first heard a public service announcement claiming that 1 in 8 Americans were hungry. I protested at the time that this was an unrealistically large number. And no, that was not an attempt to disparage the poor or to lessen the potential severity of what poverty is like. It was a math question really.
So, as I drove from Rochester to Albany today I heard a nearly identical version of that public service announcement. But this time, rather than 1 in 8 being hungry, I believe I heard them say it was 1 in 6. Now you don’t have to give a darn about either of the two statistics, and you can call me a nutcase for arguing that either is inflated. But what you cannot do is tell me that from August 2010 to August 2011 the number of hungry Americans increased by 33%. That doesn’t pass the smell test, and believe me, I drove through some pretty smelly places between here and Albany. But that story is for another day.