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A survey of 25 American cities, including many of the nation's largest, showed yearly increases in food aid and homelessness. The cities, located throughout 18 states, saw requests for emergency food aid rise by an average of seven percent compared with the previous period a year earlier, according to the US Conference of Mayors study, published Wednesday. Around 43 percent of people who asked for food aid were employed, 21 percent were elderly and nine percent were homeless. Although the quantity of food distributed a year ago rose seven percent, organizations' budgets to purchase food increased only one percent this year.