Most people have a hard time believing that people here in the U.S. go hungry too. And NO not always by choice, I pre-empt the ones who say we are always on a diet. The sober truth is, all you have to do is look a little closer at your neighbors or people you pass on the street next time. Many people can barely afford to eat and are too embarrassed to admit it.
Too embarrassed to admit it because in a country as rich as ours supposedly to be, it’s unthinkable that anyone’s stomach should grumble involuntarily. An yet, congress is proposing cuts to food stamps and other forms of aid to the poor. No, strike that. Yesterday, conservatives actually pushed through the bill that will cut billions from the food stamps (a.k.a. SNAP–the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other welfare programs.
Many conservatives claim that SNAP is out of control and rife with abuses. If they had their way, it should be simply eradicated. What they don’t realize is that the population that benefits most from the program is the future of this country, the children. See the quick infographic below for figures.
There are some points about the bill that I agree with with but there are many more aspects, especially those that marginalize the most vulnerable members of the population, that I disagree with.
Just last week, I was reading this list of 10 Hungriest Places in America and telling my husband about it. I was disappointed to see two North Carolina cities on the list, but equally surprising are the other cities on the list. You would think that the list would hold the names of the biggest urban cities in the country, but no. Instead, you have:
10. Orlando-Kissimmee, FL
9. Ashville, NC
8. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
7. Las Vegas, NV
6. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
5. Fresno, CA
4. Dayton, OH
3. Greensboro-High Point, NC
2. New Orleans, LA
1. Bakersfield, CA
Are you as surprised as I am? Many of those cities are considered to be in the middle class. Very few on the list have a large population in what is commonly perceived as dire poverty, nor do any of them have the blight of inner city poor. They all seem to typify the all American city. And yet they made it to the hungry list.
I wish the article had been more thorough by mentioning why these cities made it to the list. The only ranking criteria mentioned in the article was the percentage of people in each city who are facing “food insecurity”. I will assume ‘food insecurity’ is a euphemism for HUNGRY. And the thing is, I bet you not all those who have “food insecurity” are on the SNAP program.
Despite what most conservatives would like to think, not everyone is out to live on handouts. There are genuinely people out there who need the help. And the ones that really need it the most, have no voice to say one way or another.