Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Hunger Crisis

I know I have written a lot of posts about budgeting, saving money at the grocery, etc. but I am going to admit, I usually fail big time. I am awful at budgeting, never can find coupons or sales that will suit our needs and I always end up buying stuff that is not on our list of things that we need. But I read an article recently in Parent magazine that made me open up my eyes a little more. Like, what would we do if we were faced with a situation where we flat out just couldn't buy the things that we need to take care of our family. It was the Hunger Crisis article and what I read just blew me away.

I had no idea that more than 50 million Americans worry about having enough food to eat.....and 17 million of those are children.  According to the article, more than 1 in 4 children are "food insecure" meaning they live in a household that struggles to have enough food for all of the members.  It also stated that families with babies and small children are most at risk.  Families who were on the edge are now over the cliff as the article states.  And this broke my heart to read. I had no idea that so many families here in the United States are going without food. Parents are skipping meals to ensure there is enough food for their children.  Children are going to school hungry. And I can't even imagine being in that place.

Another issue food scarcity causes is obesity. I have been behind parents in the supermarket before and I have shaken my head at those who have the belt piled up with cheap boxed meals that I know are unhealthy and have no nutritional value.....but never once did I give thought to the fact that people do this simply so their family members can eat. Eating healthy is expensive. Boxed dinners can go a long way and feed more people for cheap. I found it astounding that junk food costs just $3.32 per 1,000 calories, compared with $27.20 per 1,000 calories for nutritious foods. So the next time you see someone overweight and think, "That guy isn't missing any meals" think again. Sometimes it's not how much you eat, rather WHAT you eat.

Another part of the article I found very interesting was the food stamp myth. Many people have the misconception that people who receive food stamps are just lazy and don't want to work. What I found is that MOST of the adults who receive food stamps are working! They just don't make enough to put food on the table and pay their bills too. There are so many working families who could receive aid but they just don't know it. Or they are ashamed to ask for help. Or they have tried before in the past and they were treated badly or the process was so difficult that they just gave up.

It makes me sad. Sad to think that there are kids going without food. Nobody should ever have to go hungry.  It was encouraging to read in the article that President Obama has pledged to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will expand the federal school-lunch program to provide healthy free or reduced-priced breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to more low-income students.

Our local school has started a backpack program where they send backpacks full of food and snacks home with children to ensure they have enough to eat on the weekends while they are away from school. Hopefully more schools will start doing this.

If you are working and struggling to put food onto your table, check out your local food banks or look into your county job and family service program to see if you qualify for assistance. If you have school aged children, the article also suggests looking into your local school's free or reduced lunch program. 

Check out this video HERE called The Hungry Home. And sadly, this is the story of so many families across America.

Unbelievable. And heartbreaking. Is it shocking for you to hear that this problem exists?


  1. This is an eye-opening post. I had no idea about the number of people who don't have enough for food..and it's so sad that so many children are affected. I like the idea of the backpack program at your school. Our schools do several food drives throughout the year and donate to the local food pantry.

  2. All this is so scary! My husband is having us stock up on food because he's afraid that what's happened in London could easily happen here. With our economy, I'm afraid he could be right.

  3. Thanks for sharing the article. You are right, that many people buy processed foods because they are cheaper, and I worry about the message that some children are sent. We try to feed our sons healthy food, but they also have chicken nuggets and mac and cheese sometimes. When they are older and in school if they have a food drive or something we will do all we can to help out.

  4. Great article! We ALWAYS donate food whenever there is a food drive.

  5. Thanks for sharing the article. It's very sad and scarey. We donate whenever there's a food drive also


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