Two Treasure Valley families will be featured tonight on a segment of the new NBC news magazine Rock Center. The families, both from Nampa, will serve as examples of how millions of Americans find themselves shopping at midnight. It's not that they enjoy shopping in the middle of the night, but it's because they have to. Simply put, they're out of food, and the minute that their monthly allotment of food assistance is available (usually at midnight), they head to the grocery store.
The trend is so significant that Walmart has already begun shoring up its overnight grocery employees.
"A few years back, we started seeing that our customers were showing up at midnight on the first of the month," said Carol Johnston, senior vice president of store operations for Walmart.
Nearly 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the of the population, now depend on federal assistance for food.
Tonight's Rock Center report was previewed this morning on NBC's Today program.