Archives for posts with tag: food stamps

Kirsten sent The New Face of Hunger.  This month’s National Geographic features food around the world.  This article focuses on hunger in the USA.

Watch the video It’s Not Enough.  It could have made me cry.  To see people struggling to provide for their children, humbly doing so, ignoring the embarrassment.  Eminently decent parents.

I had a bowl of ice cream tonight after dinner.  It sure tasted good.

Today hunger in the suburbs is growing faster than in cities, having more than doubled since 2007.

For dinner tonight we had grilled chicken thighs, salad and whole wheat tortillas.  Yummy.

The root problem is the lack of jobs that pay wages a family can live on, so food assistance has become the government’s—and society’s—way to supplement low wages.

If I wanted, I could walk over to the fridge, the cupboard, and find something eat.  The only times in years I’ve felt hungry is when I’m too busy.  But the food’s there.  I can eat when I want.

But most of the working poor don’t have the time or know-how required to eat well on little. Often working multiple jobs and night shifts, they tend to eat on the run. Healthful food can be hard to find in so-called food deserts—communities with few or no full-service groceries. Jackie Christian didn’t resort to feeding her sons fried gizzards because it was affordable but because it was easy. Given the dramatic increase in cheap fast foods and processed foods, when the hungry have money to eat, they often go for what’s convenient, just as better-off families do.

Fried gizzards?

Those priorities are reflected at the grocery store, where the price of fresh food has risen steadily while the cost of sugary treats like soda has dropped. Since the early 1980s the real cost of fruits and vegetables has increased by 24 percent. Meanwhile the cost of nonalcoholic beverages—primarily sodas, most sweetened with corn syrup—has dropped by 27 percent.

So what is the problem, why do so many Americans, 1 in 6, struggle with food insecurity?

‘We’ve created a system that’s geared toward keeping overall food prices low but does little to support healthy, high-quality food,’ says global food expert Raj Patel. ‘The problem can’t be fixed by merely telling people to eat their fruits and vegetables, because at heart this is a problem about wages, about poverty.’

Time for bed.  I will not go to bed hungry tonight.

“We’re not starved around here,” she says one morning as she mixes up powdered milk for her daughter. “But some days, we do go a little hungry.”

food insecurity

 

The WordPress powers have interceded and my blog is now restored.  Thank you.

Here’s some of the facts and a little bit of the human story on the federal government’s reduction in SNAP (food stamps) this month reported today by Kim Severson and Winnie Hu of the New York Times.

d36caf50-bcdf-4b55-b8ad-97276cbbd7ceToday I was in Marion IL visiting our Salvation Army center that serves the southern part of Illinois.  Cindy Cowgur runs our operations there and she tells me that somewhere between 400-500 families will receive Christmas assistance just in Williamson County.  And that about 70 families each month now receive a bag of groceries there.  I don’t know the numbers, but families in 21 additional southern Illinois counties will also receive Salvation Army Christmas food.

I didn’t have time to talk with Cindy about the effect this SNAP reduction will have.  But I’m sure it will soon be felt.

Take two minutes to watch the video in the Severson and Hu article.  Compare the current Congress’ desire to reduce SNAP with a rise in the US poverty rate.  What to expect?  Cindy and her staff are going to have more monthly visitors.  Soon.

Matt A. and Bill W. on Facebook have contributed and commented on this post.  Bill shared a CNBC video ‘fast food workers worth $15/hour?’

A good point:  fast food jobs can and do offer entry level experience for young people and people new to the USA. Read the rest of this entry »

How much is a McDonald’s hamburger worth to you?

no onions, please

no onions, please

Would you be willing to pay more for that Quarter Pounder with Cheese, for that Dollar Menu McDouble, if it meant that half of McDonald’s employees could stop receiving public assistance?

If so, it would mean saving local, state and federal governments the estimated 1.2 billion dollars they annually give to employees of the Oak Brook IL based corporation, the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants.  It would also mean that McDonald’s employees receiving public aid would not be affected by today’s federal reduction of the SNAP program, what we commonly call food stamps.

Controversy:  living wages and unions for fast food workers.

No controversy:  work for a fast food chain and you have a fifty-fifty chance that you will qualify for, that you will need public assistance.

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