TUCSON -- The Southwest and Southeast had the highest hunger rates in the nation last year, according to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center, a nonprofit Washington-based group focusing on hunger and undernourishment in the United States.
These regions reported at least 1 out of 5 people suffered from hunger, the report says.
In Arizona, the number of people who went hungry last year increased slightly as the national hunger rate fell. An estimated 20.9% of Arizonans sometimes went without food last year because their family didn't have the money to buy it.
The state fared slightly worse than it did the previous year, when 20.5% of those surveyed reported food hardship. At the same time, national hunger rates decreased by 0.4%.
Arizona surpassed the national rate of 18.2%, ranking 14th among states, just below California (20.6%), according to the survey. Mississippi had the highest hunger rate, at 24.6%.