More struggling with hunger

The news: More than 49 million people didn’t have enough food in 2008, an increase of 13 million people to reach a record high, according to a new survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture using U.S. Census data. Behind the news: Many people in Illinois qualify for food stamps and don’t get them. An estimated $85 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits went unclaimed in Chicago in 2007, according to a September report released by the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C.-based food policy group. An estimated 141,843 people in Chicago qualified for food stamps in 2007 but didn’t get them, according to the same report. Some experts think they know why.