Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates how many American households are "food insecure" and hungry. The most recent annual report is dated October, but it was actually released after the Presidential election in November. The upbeat abstract says 89 percent of American households were "food secure" in 2003, which was not significantly worse than the previous year. But some historical perspective would help here. The new report's 35 references do not include this 2002 USDA report about progress toward the official federal target of 6 percent food insecurity by the year 2010. The old report was happy about rapid progress through 1999. Unfortunately, food insecurity has increased every single year since 1999. Here is a better chart, consistent with the 2002 USDA report, illustrating recent "progress" toward reducing food insecurity in the United States.