In the richest country in the world, nearly 1 in 6 Americans go to bed hungry.
As the holiday season of giving approaches, the slow recovery from the 2008 recession and cuts in the government's anti-hunger programs have only put more children and seniors at risk, advocates for the poor and hungry say.
Corporations are finding more creative ways to help fight the scourge, but the number of hungry has risen, percolating up into the middle class and sparking fears for the welfare of aging baby boomers.
"It's tragic. Since 2007 it has increased dramatically," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America, one of the biggest nonprofit organizations battling hunger.
"The recession drove the increase as unemployment climbed. But even as the economyimproves now, people are working to get by and still are unable to provide enough food for their families," he said. "There is a lot of food in America, but hunger in the developed world looks different from the underdeveloped world. We are working to stop food going to waste."