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The USA is one of the richest countries on the planet, with more billionaires within their population than almost any other nation in the world.

But despite this, child hunger is on the rise, as is poverty. A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation titled “2013 Data Book, State Trends in Child Well-being” has found that child poverty in the U.S. has soared to unprecedented levels.

This has led to a situation where families who are struggling to put food on the table and feed their children at home are increasingly relying on free school meals.

In fact, the demand for free school meals has risen and a separate report by Sky news, said that summer feeding programs tackling hunger across America say they are seeing unprecedented demand for free food.

According to the Annie E. Casey research, the child poverty rate rose from 19 to 23 percent, representing an increase of three million children from 2005 to 2011.

However, this percentage increased for families with younger children, and the poverty rate for children aged five and under are even higher than the overall rate at 26 percent.

People from black and hispanic backgrounds in the US have been particularly affected. The child poverty rate among African Americans (39 per cent) was almost three times the rate for non-hispanic whites (14 per cent) in 2011.

Recently, the United Nations Childrens Fund released a report which measured children’s well-being in 29 developed nations.

Their findings published in the report entitled:  “Child well-being in rich countries – a comparative review” showed that overall, the U.S was number 26 only faring better than Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. Overall well-being represents five different categories including material well-being, health & safety, education, behaviors and risks, housing & environment.

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