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Despite all the luxuries available in this country, many Americans lack the most basic necessity: food.

Nearly 15% of all U.S. households went hungry at one point or another in 2009, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In total, 17.4 million households did not have enough money or other resources to get the amount of food they required. At the same time, another 6.8 million households had very low food security, meaning that at least one family member had to reduce or disrupt his or her normal food consumption.

In 2009, food insecurity was particularly prevalent in households with single parents, as well as in Hispanic homes.

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Overall, the number of Americans who went hungry in 2009 increased slightly from the year before, rising by 0.1%, according to the report. However, it is substantially higher than it was in 2007, before the recession began and when approximately 11% of the population went hungry.

And if recent reports are any indication, it’s likely that the hunger rate will remain high in 2010.

In a separate report, the USDA found that the number of Americans who have been forced to rely on food stamps increased by an astounding 17% between August 2009 and August 2010.