Hunger is a reality for many Americans across the nation. According to recent studies by the USDA, U.S. Census Bureau and put together by Feeding America.org,, 49 million Americans struggle with hunger, including 17 million children.
Locally, in Florida, with a population of 18,328,340 as of 2008, 12.2% struggle with hunger. The childhood hunger rate in Florida is 20.8%. Hunger is a nationwide issue.
These numbers increased by 4.7% from 2007 and with the nation’s economy having worsened from 2008 through 2010, hunger rates have not improved. As mentioned in yesterday’s article, “The working poor”, when families need to keep a roof over their head, the lights and gas on, groceries is something that is often where the money is held back from.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential childcare institutions. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act by President Harry Truman in 1946.
For many children, the School Lunch received under the NSLP provides their only meal each day. Applications for this program can be found on their website as well as guideline requirements. Also, a person may go through their child’s school for additional information and assistance.
It is not always easy or even possible to point out or tell the difference of who is or is not going hungry in America. Going hungry can mean different things. It can mean missing a meal each day or two meals. It can mean doing without food of substance and living off things like rice or noodles or any food one can bulk up on for a very minimal cost.
Is it okay families to be living this way? Should it come as a shock that so many are having earlier health issues? Could this be why more children are having issues with diabetes and cholesterol? Is this possibly tied to economic hardship?
How can people help? There are ways to get involved and help insure Americans have access to necessary food and nutrition.
Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight against hunger. Please visit their website to help or to get assistance if necessary.
Stay involved with pieces of legislation going before the house and senate such as the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010 (HR4870). Please visit the link to read for more information. Getting involved with legislation not only makes a difference now but for years to come.
Find local food pantries in your area. Many places that help families in need rely on donations. These places differ for each area but many churches have food pantries, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and another good place to start is through FeedingAmerica.org as well as FeedtheChildren.org.
The only way for America to move forward to its future is to focus on the biggest issues at hand. These things cannot continue to be overlooked as though they will go away.
By each person knowing where to look for help and how to offer help, people can focus more on their abilities and their future and less on what may be holding them back.
America’s children are the future and deserve every opportunity to have the brightest future possible. For the United States of America to again be number one in education, productions, innovations, technology and science and rise above what anyone could imagine today, it starts with taking care of one another across each neighborhood, community, each state and the Nation.
The United States of America can go above and beyond any hopes one may have as long as the opportunity for growth and development, education and income and ultimately the ability for everyone to live up to their full potential is attainable.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Feeding America Local Website for Tampa