(CNN) - More than 50 million Americans couldn't afford to buy food at some point in 2011, according to a new report from the Department of Agriculture.
It said children in close to 4 million households suffered from food insecurity last year, with their families unable to provide them with adequate, nutritious food at times.
Nearly 17 million Americans suffered from "very low food security."
That means they had to reduce the amount they ate, saying the food they bought did not last and they didn't have money to buy more.
They typically found themselves in this situation a few days a month for seven months of the year.
Women living alone, black households and the poor and near-poor were affected the most.