Sunday, March 10, 2013

One nation underfed

1 out of every 2 kids in the United States will, at some point, be on food assistance.

The average food stamp allowance is about $3.00 per day.

As many as 50,000,000 Americans rely on charitable food programs.

"People say 'how can this be happening in our community' with total disbelief, absolute amazement that there are those kinds of needs here, and that this is going on everywhere." ~ Bob Wilson 

Disturbing Food facts:

• 1 in 6 Americans, 50 million, is food insecure, which means uncertain of having, or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all household members.

• 1 in 4 American children, 17 million, is food insecure*.

• 85 percent of families that are food insecure have at least one working adult it the household.

• 44 million Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. To qualify, the income for a family of 4 cannot exceed $29,000 per year. One out of every 2 kids in The United States at some point in their childhood will be on food assistance.

• The average food stamp benefit is under $5 a day.

• In 1980, there were 200 food banks in the United States. Today, there are over 40,000 food banks, soup kitchens and pantries.

• 50 million Americans rely on charitable food programs.
(Source: "A Place at the Table")

Check out Take Part if you feel compelled to do something or learn more.

Text "food" to 77177 to receive messages and updates about hunger in your area.

As the film notes, the state of Mississippi has both the highest rate of obesity and the highest rate of something called “food insecurity.” That’s not the chronic, abject starvation that a lot of us think of when we think of hunger, but rather a situation in which the source of one’s next meal is uncertain. 

Be sure to check out Michael O'Sullivan's article in the Washington Post.

Or, Michael Shank's guest post  article in The Nation for a great summary of this moving documentary.

A Place at the Table was simultaneously released in theaters, iTunes and On Demand. It is well worth the $6.99 rental fee from iTunes. I suggest watching it with the whole family.

* The 2010 results in Idaho were not promising, with 15.8 percent of the population ranked as food insecure, representing a $105.8 million food needs gap between the haves and the have-nots. Only 50% of those who qualify for Food Stamps are using them in Idaho.

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