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10 American Cities That Are Going Hungry Slideshow

10 American Cities That Are Going Hungry Slideshow

Which 10 American cities are suffering the worst from food hardship?

Birmingham-Hoover bottoms out this list at number 10, at a food hardship percentage of 29.5 percent. A recent survey of Jefferson County reported that there are 80,000 families who are unsure of where their next meal will come from. Alabama's "very low food security" rate of 6.8 percent, meaning about 126,480 households were affected, exceeds the national average. In addition there are 3,000 people each week who sleep on the streets of Birmingham.

#10. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.

Birmingham-Hoover bottoms out this list at number 10, at a food hardship percentage of 29.5 percent. In addition there are 3,000 people each week who sleep on the streets of Birmingham.

#9. San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

Number nine on the list is San Bernardino-Ontario, with 30.4 percent food hardship amongst households. There are 128,000 children in San Bernardino County that live in poverty and face hunger every day. More than 22,000 children are currently homeless. For those who aren’t, 85 percent of students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District receive free or reduced-price lunch and these same children may go hungry during the weekend as only 42 percent of those kids receive breakfast.

#8. New Orleans, La.

#7. Louisville, Ky.

This jarring story makes it easy to understand why Louisville remains a top food hardship city at 31 percent and ranks at #7. Dare to Care Food Bank was founded in 1971, when a stunned Louisville community was horrified with news that right in their own city, on Thanksgiving Day, a 9-year-old boy had died of starvation. Annually, Louisville hosts Hunger Awareness Week to make the voices of its residents a little bit louder in the fight against hunger.

#6. Las Vegas, Nev.

With 31 percent and a number six rank, it’s no wonder one in eight households in Vegas struggle with hunger. Researchers estimate that hunger costs Vegas half a billion dollars in direct and indirect costs of lost productivity and negative health outcomes. Nearly one in five children in Las Vegas experience food insecurity and the effects often cause lifelong problems.

#5. Fresno, Calif.

With 32.6 percent of families across Fresno struggling with food hardship, this city places at number five on the list. Water allotments to farming have been cut and a sugar plant closed, creating a staggering unemployment rate of forty percent. Fresno County is home to nearly 800,000 residents. Twenty-two percent of the population of Fresno County lives below the federal poverty line.

#4. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.

Tied with Lakeland-Winterhaven at 33 percent, the tri-named city comes in at number four. Youngstown’s nearly 70,000 residents live more than a half-mile from a grocery store and 18 percent of people do not have access to a vehicle to drive them to stores. City officials and organizers have launched several initiatives aimed at getting fresh food into Youngstown’s neighborhoods. In addition to luring supermarkets, they are working to set up urban gardens and farmers markets.

#3. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, not too far from Orlando, measures up at number three with 33 percent. "Folks everywhere are facing higher food costs, medical bills, energy prices, you name it," explained Florida Senator, Bill Nelson. "And many people in Florida are on the verge of losing their homes or have lost them already. That's what's so puzzling about the fight in Congress over budget priorities. Why would anyone want to take even more away from the poor and middle class?"

#2. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.

Wikimedia Commons/truthsort

With 33.9 percent of residents facing food hardship, Orlando-Kissimmee ranks number two. Nearly one out of every three Florida households with children reported not having enough money to buy food. "These new data reaffirm what we're seeing in our communities — that far too many people continue to struggle with hunger in these economic times," said Debra Susie, executive director for Florida Impact, convener of the Florida Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.

#1. Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wikimedia Commons/truthsort

With nearly 35 percent of residents facing food hardship, Winston-Salem tops the national list, with more than one in three households facing food insecurity.

22 Mouthwatering Bacon Dishes Across America

Ah, bacon — a food that's been so sinfully delicious, so versatile, and so ubiquitous for so long that it transcends trendiness. Served across America with chocolate, piled high on burgers, and wrapped around everything from dates to quail legs, the endlessly creative presentations are both eye-popping and mouthwatering. A little bacon never hurt anyone, and these restaurants really bring it home.

These Are The American Cities With The Most Abandoned Houses

The public health crisis that has seized Flint is only the latest struggle for the Michigan city, where one in six houses is vacant after a long period of decline.

The Flint metro area had the highest rate of vacancy in February at 7.5 percent, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday that ranked metropolitan statistical areas with the most and least empty houses.

The real estate data company broke down the data by individual city for The Huffington Post, revealing a more extreme picture of abandonment: 9,800 homes are empty in Flint, 16.5 percent of all residential properties. At the city level, Detroit had the highest vacancy rate, with 53,000 empty houses, nearly one in five. Nationally, close to one of every 63 residential properties that RealtyTrac analyzed are vacant.

The company looked at data for about 85 million residential properties in large metropolitan areas and matched it to properties that mail carriers had flagged as vacant. They found that across the U.S., the vacancy rate is decreasing, which poses a challenge in cities where there’s a lot of housing demand.

Flint was one of a handful of places where there’s been little change since RealtyTrac last analyzed vacancy data in September, Vice President Daren Blomquist said in an email.

Most of the empty homes in Flint are “investment properties,” where owners live elsewhere and aim to rent them out. The ongoing water troubles has made it difficult, if not close to impossible, to sell a house.

The crisis began when the city switched up its water supply two years ago. A series of mistakes that have been called a failure of government at every level resulted in lead from pipes leaching into drinking water, elevated lead levels in children and allegations of numerous other health problems. “The water crisis did not cause the high vacancy rate in Flint, but it will certainly exacerbate it,” Blomquist said.

Most of the people who live in Flint are black and 40 percent are poor. Presidential candidates and scores of other critics have suggested that a similar disaster wouldn’t happen in a whiter and wealthier community, and residents have been outraged at how long it took for officials to acknowledge their concerns, which go back to 2014.

“There’s a philosophy of government that has been writing these places off -- places like Flint get written off,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) previously told HuffPost. “And, to me, even though those people making those decisions might not see it this way, it’s hard for me to accept the fact that race is not the most significant factor.”

The “writing off” has been going on for decades , according to Danielle Lewinski, vice president and director of Michigan initiatives at the Center for Community Progress. The Flint-based nonprofit works to eliminate blight nationally.

It’s helped cause the city’s decline, Lewinski told HuffPost in an email:

Distressed cities like Flint struggle to generate enough revenue locally to reinvest back into critical infrastructure, such as water systems. Decades of disinvestment and job and population loss have led to a phenomenal erosion of the tax base, both in terms of the number of taxpayers and in terms of the value of the land. As a result, cities with high levels of abandonment, like Flint, are faced with the financial challenge of needing to maintain and reinvest in a scale of infrastructure that was once supported by a tax base more than twice its current size.

Flint, along with Detroit, an hour south and facing many of the same struggles, have been trying to tackle the vacant property problems -- empty houses are easy targets for metal thieves and other criminal activity. Thousands of houses are left uninhabitable and can become dangerous neighborhood eyesores. Vacant homes tend to be concentrated in particular areas of cities, Blomquist said, magnifying problems.

Both cities have received millions in federal funding to demolish structures that have become blighted beyond repair. Flint recently launched a new blight elimination strategy, which includes everything from demolition to working with community groups to make sure vacant lots get mowed.

Detroit has embarked on an ambitious demolition program that has faced controversy while razing 7,000 homes over two years.

Lewinski said she expects that ongoing health and safety issues for residents will increase the number of empty homes.

“These impacts have the potential to cripple the progress made by Flint stakeholders in recent years to stabilize neighborhoods and improve quality of life,” she said.


Warming weather and comparatively looser Covid-19 regulations have drawn many tourists to Miami and the surrounding area. As a result, said Greg Galy, who owns Mila Miami, a restaurant in Miami Beach, many have traveled from out of state for extended stays — particularly from places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago — which he said “has enabled the business to pick up customers that we wouldn’t have.”

This influx proved problematic over spring break, when police officers in riot gear used pepper balls to enforce an emergency curfew and disperse revelers ignoring social distancing and mask regulations.

During the weekend of March 28 to April 3, Miami “saw its highest occupancy level since the start of the pandemic, with most hotels reporting upward of 75 percent occupancy levels,” said Suzie Sponder, a spokeswoman for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. That’s only a 6.6 percent drop from the same weekend in 2019.

Ms. Sponder added that the average room rate for the weekend was $282.29, up 25 percent from 2019. And Mr. Rogers, of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said that revenue, which is still down across the board, is the best indicator of the industry’s recovery, noting that Miami’s strong numbers are the exception rather than the rule.

In the tourism industry, “you still have a lot of folks that are out of work,” he said, “because it’s those large, city center urban hotels that employ the most people, because they have those extensive food and beverage operations that are not working right now. That’s where most job loss is occurring.”

Apple pie

The history: Perhaps the most iconic item on any all-American menu, apple pie first came to the U.S. by way of British, Swedish, and Dutch immigrants, where it was a staple of colonial diets for more than a century thanks to its cheap preparation. During World War II, apple pie became inextricably linked to American culture, and has since become a fixture of Americana.

What to try—and where to eat it: the French apple at A la Mode Pies in Seattle the homemade, crème-anglaise-topped apple pie at Cowbell in New Orleans and the overstuffed apple pie Dangerously Delicious Pies in Washington, D.C.

Pro move: Save the spicy broth and sprinkle with some chopped cilantro or scallions to sip on later.

No grill, no deep-fryer, no problemo. Our summery tacos rely on our go-to fish-cooking method—slow-roast, baby—for all the flavor without the fuss.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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The 10 most dangerous cities in America

After falling for five consecutive years, the number of violent crimes across the U.S. rose 1.2% in 2012. Based on data published by the FBI, the increase was even greater in some of America’s largest cities.

According to the FBI, violent crime includes murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In some cases, the cities with the highest violent crime rate, including Flint, Mich., and Oakland, Calif., had high rates in all four categories. However, most of the most violent cities tend to do very poorly only in a few categories.

From 24/7 Wall St., based on the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the cities on the following pages are the 10 most dangerous cities in America.

10. Cleveland

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,383.8

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 77%

More than 825 robberies were reported in Cleveland for every 100,000 residents last year, the second highest robbery rate in the nation behind only Oakland. The total number of robberies in the city rose from 3,156 in 2011 to 3,252 in 2012. Cleveland also had the nation’s second highest burglary rate in 2012, with close to 2,500 burglaries per 100,000 residents. Unlike robbery, burglary doesn't involve force or coercion and is not considered a violent crime. Recently, the highly publicized discovery of three women that had been missing for roughly a decade and held captive within the city led to extensive criticism of the Cleveland Police Department. Cleveland is one of the nation’s poorest large cities with a median household income of just $25,731 in 2011—barely over half the national median.

9. Baltimore

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,405.7

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 80.5%

There were 219 murders in Baltimore in 2012, more than all but five other major cities both in absolute terms and per capita. In addition, the city’s robbery rate of 576.4 cases per 100,000 people was the ninth highest in the country. Despite remaining one of the most violent cities, city officials noted that crime rates have been declining. While the total number of murders increased, total gun crime fell by 6% compared with 2011, according to the Baltimore Police Department. In addition, the city’s property crime rate of 4,660.3 cases per 100,000 residents was lower than any of the top cities for violent crime.

8. New Haven, Conn.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,439.2

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 78.4%

There were 766 robberies in New Haven in 2011, or 589.1 cases per 100,000 residents, the eighth highest rate among all cities considered that year. In 2012, the number of robberies in the city jumped to 844. At 649.6 robberies per 100,000 residents, this was one of the highest rates recorded in 2012. But while both robberies and aggravated assaults rose last year, the number of murders declined from 34 in 2011 to just 17 in 2012. Gun violence remains a concern for the community. Recently, police began reaching out to known gang members on probation or parole to offer help to members looking to earn a high school diploma or otherwise improve their lives. As of 2011, just 78.4% of New Haven residents over 25 had a high school diploma, much lower than the 85.9% rate nationwide.

7. Birmingham, Ala.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,517.8

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 81.3%

Birmingham had among the 10 highest murder and aggravated assault rates at 31.4 cases per 100,000 people and 954.2 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively, in 2012. The city also had 6,934.1 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, higher than all but four other cities. This included 2,205.7 burglaries per 100,000, the sixth highest of all cities. City residents are in a far worse economic position than the nation as a whole. The median household income in Birmingham was just $28,646 in 2011, far lower than the $50,502 across the U.S. Also, 32% of the population lived below the poverty line that year, compared with just under 16% nationwide.

6. Stockton, Calif.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,548

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 75.1%

The number of violent crimes reported in Stockton rose from 4,155 in 2011 to 4,630 in 2012. This was partly due to the increase in the number of robberies, from 1,323 in 2011 to 1,556 last year, and the increase in the number of aggravated assaults, from 2,684 in 2011 to 2,913 in 2012. As a result of this uptick in crime, Stockton had some of the highest incidences of murder, robbery and aggravated assault in the nation. Stockton also holds the dubious distinction of being the largest city in U.S. history, by population, to enter bankruptcy. In the city proper, the unemployment rate was 18.3% in 2012, more than 10 percentage points above the national rate last year.

5. Memphis, Tenn.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,750

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 83.4%

Memphis had the third highest rate of aggravated assault in 2012, with 1,151.9 cases per 100,000 residents. This was up from the 1,032.3 cases per 100,000 in 2011. The city’s murder rate of 20.2 per 100,000 people and robbery rate of 514.4 per 100,000 people were also up from 2011. The high levels of crime has people in the Memphis area feeling uneasy. According to a recent Gallup survey, roughly 43% of Memphis area residents reported feeling unsafe walking at night, the highest percentage of all the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country and significantly higher than the 28% across the U.S.

4. St. Louis

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,776.5

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 83.9%

There were 1,120.6 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people in St. Louis in 2012, higher than all but three other cities. Moreover, the murder rate of 35.5 cases per 100,000 was the fifth highest of all cities. Although St. Louis’s violent crime was still among the highest in the country, it has improved. There were 80 less violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012 compared with 2011—the best improvement of any city on this list, with the drop mostly attributable to 106 less robberies per 100,000 people in 2012 compared with the previous year. Law-enforcement officials attributed some of the drop to an increased police presence in high-crime neighborhoods.

3. Oakland, Calif.

Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,993.1

Percent of adults with high-school diploma: 79.9%

There were 1,085.9 robberies per 100,000 residents in Oakland in 2012, higher than any other city. This was also significantly higher than the 851.2 robberies per 100,000 just a year earlier. The rates of murder and aggravated assaults also increased in 2012 compared with 2011. Violent crime was not the only issue in Oakland, either—there were 6,594 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012, more than all but eight other cities, and up from 5,287.9 in 2011. Crime in the city has increased ever since the city’s police department went through a round of layoffs in 2010 due to $30.5 million deficit.

Boxcar Betty's | Charleston, South Carolina

A relative newcomer, Boxcar Betty's has a signature Boxcar sandwich featuring crunchy, fried-to-order chicken made tender and juicy thanks to a long brine, and served on top of oozing pimento cheese with peach slaw, house pickles, and spicy mayo on a freshly baked bun. You're going to need a few napkins.

America's Best Cities for Pizza

Neapolitan-style pizza is a nationwide passion, yet one U.S. city&rsquos pizza stokes the deepest devotion, according to Travel + Leisure readers.

There are some things that exist only in New York, but the city&rsquos traditional foldable, thin-crust pizza is no longer one of them.

&ldquoThese days, you can find decent, or even excellent, New York&ndashstyle pizza in almost any medium-sized to large city in America,&rdquo says Brooklyn-based writer Jeff Turrentine. &ldquoBut finding even passable Chicago-style pizza outside of Chicago&mdashthat still poses a challenge.&rdquo

That only-in-Chicago factor helps explain why the Windy City once again won the No. 1 spot for best pizza city, according to Travel + Leisure readers. This year&rsquos America&rsquos Favorite Cities survey&mdashin which readers rank 35 cities for such enticements as luxury stores, live music, and good-looking locals&mdashrevealed voters&rsquo reverence for Chicago&rsquos deep-dish magic.

That said, the top-ranking cities also reflect an increasing passion for authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza&mdashas well as a flair for quirky, local renditions, such as brisket pizza in San Antonio, TX, lobster pizza in Boston, or even Fritos-as-toppings in Houston. (The survey focuses on large metro areas, so voters didn&rsquot have the option to rate some smaller cities with outsize pizza reputations, such as New Haven, CT, and Trenton, NJ.)

Even in Chicago, it&rsquos not hard to find Neapolitan-style pizzerias that show off their Verace Pizza Napoletana certification&mdashproof that they use the appropriate gear, ingredients, and techniques to create pizza like that you&rsquod find in Naples. Take Lincoln Park&rsquos Pizzeria da Nella, for instance, where the owner comes from a long line of Italian pizzaioli.

Traditional Chicago-style, on the other hand, may not have such strict standards, which may be why it doesn&rsquot translate elsewhere. &ldquoWhen I&rsquom traveling, I&rsquoll see a restaurant that says &lsquoChicago-style pizza,&rsquo and because it&rsquos me, I have to try it,&rdquo says Jonathan Porter, founder of Chicago Pizza Tours, where you can sample five Windy City pizzas in roughly three hours.

Such pretenders, he says, are often serving deep-dish&rsquos cousin, the double-crusted &ldquostuffed pizza&rdquo&mdashor they&rsquove just gone overboard.

&ldquoIt&rsquos usually a real letdown,&rdquo he says. &ldquoPizza is best kept simple. When you add tons of ingredients and cheese, you tend to ruin it.&rdquo

"This is delicious! I made some for a bake sale at the office and after sampling some, my husband said he was going to have to buy it all back!"

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