Enough is enough.
While the wealth of the richest 400 Americans shot up to $2.9 trillion – yes trillion – this year, 40 million Americans, a number equal to the combined population of Texas and all of New England, struggled against hunger.
One out of six U.S. children live in homes that can’t always afford enough food. One in six!
Since the 1980s, a red, white, and blue wave of hunger has submerged each of the fifty states in suffering, making us the only Western industrialized democracy with mass food hardship.
Hunger Free America’s recent ground-breaking study found that nearly 15 million working American adults — one in ten adults employed nationwide — can’t always afford enough food.
Not only does this vast level of food insecurity rip away at the nation’s civic fabric, it also places a huge burden on our economy. Because hungry children can’t learn as effectively, hungry employees can’t work as productively, and hungry seniors can’t stay independent, hunger costs our economy $167.5 billion per year.
It is vital to note that this data comes from 2015-2017, when the economy was still booming. We can only imagine how much more suffering there will be during the next inevitable recession or depression if we don’t fix the structural flaws in our economy and our safety net.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve had big advocacy victories this year:
- We played a key role in beating back Trump and House G.O.P. proposals to take billions of dollars in nutrition assistance away from millions of children, seniors, working people, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed people.
- We led successful efforts to get New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to propose – and the State Legislature to enact into law – a mandate for all high-needs schools to serve breakfasts in first-period classrooms. As a result, hundreds of thousands of additional children state-wide will receive healthy breakfasts every school day.
Our direct service activities also had a massive, positive impact:
- Using both federal funds and donations from supporters such as you, we managed a National Hunger Hotline that enabled more than 20,000 individuals and families to access free food.
- Our ground-breaking Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service initiative connected people and groups with skills-based, high-impact volunteer assignments that make the biggest difference.
- Our AmeriCorps VISTA program, operating across 27 states with 76 full-time national service participants in 2018, recruited 3,779 volunteers to build the capacities of local anti-hunger programs and directly enabled 2,145 families to receive government nutrition assistance.
But despite our very significant successes, U.S. hunger is still far higher than decades ago.
We simply can’t let mass deprivation be considered any sort of “new normal.” That’s why I hope you join us in saying enough is enough, and help us ramp up our efforts to, finally, end U.S. hunger once and for all by pushing for more jobs, higher wages, and an adequate social safety net.
For starters, now that progressives are in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, let’s push them to pass a Child Nutrition Re-authorization Bill to make nutritious breakfasts, lunches, after school suppers, and summer meals free and universal for all U.S. children.
With your continued support, we can make a hunger-free America a reality. Please donate as generously as you can. Many thanks.
CEO, Hunger Free America
P.S. – According to an independent audit, 85 percent of our budget is spent on direct anti-hunger programing. Every penny you donate is used extraordinarily effectively.