HEARTBREAKING

The Growing Child-Hunger Outbreak

President Obama pledged shortly before being elected to end hunger among children by 2015 in America. But the task may prove daunting during the worst recession in decades as food shortages are becoming rampant: According to the Department of Agriculture, the number of kids in homes without sufficient food in 2008 shot up from 13 million to about 17 million. The problem is often difficult to identify as children may be technically healthy in terms of body weight, but because of shortages of food they are more vulnerable to learning problems and depression. Congress has boosted food-stamp benefits by $20 billion in response to the crisis and the White House says its 2015 goal is "something that seems manageable," but it may be difficult to reach households facing such issues such as children deliberately eating less in order to leave more for their struggling parents.