Hunger afflicts about 12-million American children and is most pronounced in the South, where more than one-fourth of youngsters in some states don't get enough nourishment, according to a report.
The study from the Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition Policy at Tufts University estimated 18 percent of U.S. children under age 18 experienced hunger in 1991.
Mississippi had the highest rate at 34 percent. Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama and Texas placed in the top 10. Florida ranked 18th with 18.7 percent.
J. Larry Brown, director of the center, said the numbers likely are higher now since the recession has pushed more families into distress.
The Tufts report is based on Census Bureau figures and data from food assistance programs.