Hunger in America is real, devastating and suffered by millions—many with jobs. We must emulate those who share the little they have and do much better.
Two guys walk around asking strangers to share their food. Although they say they are hungry, they are turned down by everyone. They buy a pizza and give it to a homeless man on the street. Then, 20 minutes later, another guy sits down next to the homeless man and says he is hungry. The homeless man shares the pizza he was given, just a short while before. The guy thanks him and gives him some cash for his generosity.
There is no valid reason for Americans to be hungry. Feeding America issued a National Report: Hunger in America 2014 (the sixth and most comprehensive study undertaken to dater). According to the study, the Feeding America network of food banks, provide service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, using a network of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs.
DoSometing.org outlined the following “11 Facts About Hunger in the US”:
1. “1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
2. Households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children in 2011. 20.6 percent vs. 12.2 percent.
3. Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2011, 17.9 million households were food insecure.
4. 50.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
5. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
6. More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.
7. Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast and only 10 percent have access to summer feeding sites.
8. For every 100-school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs.
9. 1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
10. 40 percent of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
11. These seven states have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the US national average (14.7%):
• Mississippi (19.2%)
• Texas (18.5%)
• Arkansas (19.2%)
• Alabama (17.4%)
• Georgia (17.4%)
• Florida (16.2%)
• North Carolina (17.1%)
Do something about this issue today. Run a food drive. GO.
Sources: Feeding America, Bread for the World, Yahoo News, SNAP to Health”
Global Finance Magazine (Sunday, October 26, 2014 issue) article “The Richest Countries in the World,” discussed the method of defining the richest countries in the world as follows:
1. Takes into account the economies that are the largest, as measures by total gross domestic product (GDP).
2. Determine how rich the average resident of the country is.
The best method, then, is to use GDP data per capita, using a PPP (purchasing power parity) basis when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations. An analysis of date and forecasts of countries and regions from 2009 to 2013, puts the United States at number 7 out of 174 countries (after Qatar, Luxembourg, Singapore, Norway, Brunei and Hong Kong–All significantly smaller and most with specialized specific economies).
This leaves the US as the richest country in the world and makes the large-scale hunger we suffer as a nation (and we are not talking about “food insecurity,” this is HUNGER), even more unacceptable but fixable, if we decide to. Although private and charitable initiatives and work is important, efforts and appropriate programs by Government on all levels (like SNAP), are essential and must be funded in accordance with the real need and crisis out there in the real world, not the fictional world of politics and partisan vitriol.
It is unacceptable that in the land of plenty that America is, people with jobs, kids and those who care for elderly and disabled cannot provide food for their families. Equally unacceptable are the people who lost jobs, are struggling to find work, and cannot feed their families. And, last but not least, let’s not forget the portion of the homeless who also need mental and physical healthcare, since they are not able to care for themselves. We can and must do better. We can and must solve the catastrophe that is hunger in America.