January 30, 2009 2:44PM

35 Million Still Not Hungry

Once a grim statistic gets some play in the media, it keeps getting repeated even if it is completely erroneous.

On the Washington Post front page Saturday: “In soup kitchens, food pantries and universities across the country, activists are planting the seeds for an overhaul of the way America feeds its more than 35 million hungry people.…”

Doesn’t 35 million seem kinda high to you? It did to me, and so I looked up the official data. As I noted in prior blog posts (and here), the the actual number of Americans going hungry is about 11 million, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Reporters seem to grab data from past stories, or get data from lobby groups, without going to the original government sources to check the accuracy. Hunger is a serious problem in America, but so is sloppy and biased newspaper reporting.