How often during any given day do you hear "Mom, I'm hungry!!" ?
It numbers in the hundreds here in our little corner of the Garden State.
I am lucky, as is Princess, that when I hear that, I can whip up a snack or meal that will
take care of our immediate needs for food. But I often wonder how it would feel if I could not provide enough food for my child.
Something my Mother had to deal with often in my childhood.
In case you were blissfully unaware,September is Hunger Action Month.
According to a new survey released on September 14, 2009 by Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic relief charity, food banks across the nation are reporting that the current recession and the continuing rise in unemployment are having a profound effect on their ability to feed millions of Americans living at risk of hunger.
Ninety-nine percent of all participating food banks reported a surge in demand for emergency food assistance over the past year.
Some of the areas hardest hit include Asheville, North Carolina; Fort Myers, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Minneapolis; and food banks in South Carolina, Mississippi and Colorado.
The report tells us that ninety-eight percent of food banks see the increase as particularly driven by first-time users of the food assistance system .Fifty-six percent of food banks reported that they are seeing more children as clients. Vicki Escarra, president and C.E.O. of Feeding America,said “This is especially sobering when you consider that our network of 205 food banks delivered a record-breaking amount of food and groceries this past year–more than 2.6 billion pounds between July 2008 and June 2009 – which was an increase of 21.4 percent over the previous year.”
There has also been an all time record of participation in the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP formerly the Food Stamp Program), the largest of the nation’s federal nutrition programs, 35 million recipients in June 2009—a 22 percent increase over a year prior. Child nutrition programs are currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2009, and Congress will be considering whether to extend current levels of funding or increase funding in the coming weeks.
“This survey underscores the importance of Congress providing more funding for Child Nutrition programs this fall and supporting President Obama’s pledge to end child hunger by 2015,” said Escarra. “It is both tragic and unacceptable for anyone in this nation to go hungry, but we are especially concerned for the 12 million children living in food insecure households and suffering long term consequences as a result. Recent research has shown that children in food insecure households have difficulty learning and are less likely to become healthy, productive members of our society.”
Need more info on who the hungry are? Look here.
September is Hunger Action Month, please stop in at Feeding America and find out what you can do to help.
Need help yourself? Click here.
Don't need help yourself, but feel a need to help?Click here.
Now, I am going to put on some happy music, and go do the breakfast dishes with joy in
my heart, because the very existence of a full sink of dishes means we have enough to eat.
Today, I will try to remember to be thankful for that.