Hunger Rose In U.S. In 2005

Dec 13, 2006

…according to the USDA report, more than 35 million people were living in households that are “food insecure.” That means 12 percent of the U.S. population didn’t get enough to eat for at least part of last year.

According to the report, things got even worse for those who are worst off. The number of people in the USDA’s “very low food security” category–households in which “the food intake of some household members was reduced and their normal eating patterns were disrupted”–rose in 2005 to 10.8 million.

Hunger rates were higher for Black households (22.4 percent) and Hispanic households (17.9 percent) than the national average.

IN SPITE of the Bush administration’s claim that the economy is strong, food pantries and soup kitchens report being stretched to the breaking point.

In Battle Creek, Mich., the Food Bank of South Central Michigan is using leftover food from restaurants to fill the gap between the needs of hungry people and what corporate and private donations will buy. “This is what we call ‘deep diving,’” Teresa Osborne, who leads the food bank’s donor and community relations program, told the Chicago Tribune, describing collecting discarded food from local restaurants.

At the same time as the need has increased, federal food assistance to pantries, in the form of commodities like milk products and canned goods, is down about 55 percent since 2001.

Read entire Counter Punch article by Elizabeth Schulte.

This demonstrates the way in which government never solves the hunger & poverty problem. Accordingly, it also demonstrates the futility of our appeals to government. Quite frankly, a government will only give people enough to make them dependent on the government. Similarly, generally the people in power will never empower the impoverished and disenfranchised people. Naturally, the people in power do what helps themselves and what allows themselves to retain or increase their own power. If we want to solve the problems facing our communities and world, such as hunger and poverty, we have to do it ourselves through voluntary cooperation and non-governmental organizations, such as private charities and local trade networks.

I agree with Elizabeth Schulte that we have serious problems facing us and our world, such as hunger and poverty. I agree with Elizabeth Schulte that these problems need immediate attention, and that our society needs change. However, the government will not cause this change, and only makes our society’s problems worse. Thus, I disagree with Schulte when she suggests implementing or increasing government programs and subsidies.

Nonetheless, her well-written article raises many good points and contains many enlightening facts. For example, I agree with her when she says the following:

EVERY DAY, people are forced to make what could be life-and-death decisions, based on poverty.

According to America’s Second Harvest’s Hunger in America Study 2006, 42 percent of the people they serve had to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel. Thirty-five percent had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage.

It makes no sense, in a country with so much wealth and resources, that a single person goes hungry.

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No one should ever have to make the decision between food, shelter or other fundamental human needs.

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Children suffering from Poverty