Local News in Brief : Problem of Hunger Seen on Rise in L.A.

Hunger in Los Angeles is an escalating problem that is obscured by better-known social problems such as homelessness, according to people who spoke Monday at a hearing in the City Council chambers.

Hunger affects some 80% of the 1.15 million people living below the poverty line in the Los Angeles area, according to Catherine Camp, executive director of the California/Nevada Community Action Assn. Camp was among about 50 city officials, emergency assistance providers, religious leaders, doctors and attorneys at the hearing organized by City Councilman Robert Farrell.

The comments delivered at the four-hour hearing will be compiled into a report within the next two months, Farrell said, and then presented to the City Council. The city now spends more than $12 million a year on food programs for the elderly and homeless, and other programs.