No Child Should Go To Bed Hungry
Because of the particularly challenging economic times confronting our nation, I often write about legislative action which will improve or harm the quality of life for the most vulnerable members of society including but not limited to indigent children and youth. More than one (1) in five (5) children lives in poverty and nearly one (1) in four (4) is at risk of hunger.
Often, I write about pending legislation which impacts indigent children, youth, and families with the goal of encouraging the reader to act to protect vulnerable families. I know that ensuring America’s children and youth are connected to healthy food where they live, learn and play is as important to you as it is to me.
Over twenty-five (25) percent of the children in the US under the age of six live in poverty. The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years. As poverty surged last year to its highest level since 1993, median household income declined, leaving the typical American household earning less in inflation-adjusted dollars than it did in 1997.
One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program. Child homelessness in the United States is now thirty-three (33) percent higher than it was back in 2007. More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.
According to the USDA, over twenty six (26) million people benefited from SNAP last year. Over 80% of food stamp benefits go to families with children. One in five food stamp households includes an elderly family member, and one in four includes a disabled member. Increasingly, working families must rely on food stamps to supplement their wages in low-paying jobs.
The food stamp program is not a government handout – it is a true safety net program that provides access to food for people who cannot afford to choose between rent, medicine, child care and transportation. And it is efficient: The National Journal recently named SNAP “one of the government’s top successes” and the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly reported on the successes of this important program.
In the month of June, Republican members of Congress attempted to cut $20 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program formerly known as food stamps, and failed. SNAP is our government’s first line of defense against hunger and malnutrition, and it should be better equipped to accomplish that task, not gutted for the sake of politics. Will you join me and add your name to the petition started by Rep. Jim McGovern telling House Republicans to vote down cuts to food stamps?
As stated by Representative Jim McGovern recently stated, “…any rational person would say that [Republican members of Congress] went too far. Instead, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, has doubled down on the crazy, and drafted a bill that doubles the cuts to SNAP…” “Hunger shouldn’t be a political issue. We urge you to reject $39 billion in cuts to SNAP, and ensure that the 49 million people who are hungry in America – 17 million of whom are children – aren’t left without life-saving, vital aid..”
My question for the day is as follows: Why should one of the wealthiest nations in the world put children and other vulnerable persons at risk? As stated previously, drastic cuts to SNAP are being considered that would result in millions of Americans loosing SNAP benefits. If Congress cuts funding for this poverty relief program, it will affect millions of children and families, leaving them even more vulnerable to hunger in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.
Will you join me in speaking up for children right now, by asking your member of Congress in the US House of Representative to protect SNAP from any further devastating cuts? If so, please contact your Representative and ask them to not balance the budget on children and youth.
Your elected officials in Washington, DC need to hear from you loud and clear, since the children who rely on SNAP are unable to speak from themselves to our elected officials.
As was recently shared in an action alert from anti-hunger programs, there are a lot of misconceptions about receives SNAP. Lets be clear, without SNAP, many indigent families assert that their children would “probably would not have food to eat.”
For those of you that read this post and take action to prevent further cuts to SNAP, I thank you for taking action on this very important issue and lending your voice to children who cannot protect themselves.
You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result. ~ Gandhi
Source(s): Representative Jim McGovern Action Alert. No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength Action Alert. http://www.congress.org. Feeding America. Action Alert Voices for Americas Children. Action Alert Bread for the World. St. Vincent de Paul Society. National Center on Family Homelessness.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art