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Mainers without enough food jumped by more than 40% over the past year, report finds

Caitlin Troutman
Maine Public
Good Shepard Food Bank warehouse in Maine.

A new report finds that the number of people without enough food in Maine jumped by more than 40% over the past year.

The study, from the nonprofit Hunger Free America, found that nearly 66,000 Mainers didn't have enough food over a weeklong period in October. The organization relied on data from the U.S. Census Burau's Household Pulse Survey.

The group attributes much of the increase to inflation, as well as the expiration of the expanded federal child tax credit.

CEO Joel Berg says that Maine's recent law providing free school meals to all public school students was a good step to fight hunger — but schools are still only open for around 180 days.

"And that's why, in addition to school meals, other programs, like WIC, and SNAP, are so vital," Berg says.

In September, Maine's Good Shepherd Food Bank said that it increased meal distribution by 16 percent over the past fiscal year.