Hunger in the US
Hunger is ever present in the United States. More than 14% of US citizens, over 46 million people, struggle to put food on the table. This statistic includes 7 million elderly and disabled people, but half of all people facing hunger in the US are children. About one in five children live in food insecure homes and are at risk of hunger.
Poverty is the leading cause of hunger in America. Most people who are struggling to eat have to decide whether to spend their money on food or other necessities such as housing. The number of people living below the poverty line has gone up from 37.3 million in 2007 to 46.7 million in 2014. There are many causes for the rise in poverty: jobs are low paid and scarce, and increases in the minimum wage haven’t kept up with inflation.
While the economic causes of hunger are difficult to solve, there are many programs out there to help those in need of food. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known for food stamps) has helped 46 million low-income Americans afford a nutritionally adequate diet. The WIC program (a special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children) provides checks or vouchers for recipients to purchase food each month. The National School Lunch Program supplies free or reduced price lunches to qualifying children enrolled in participating schools. Aside from these federal programs, there are food banks across America that provide food for the hungry.
Help us make a difference at our next Ace Out Hunger event August 20!
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