In a country filled with weight loss reality shows and outsized fast food combos, the omnipresence of food insecurity and hunger in the United States might come as a shock to some.
According to the USDA, 50 million people, or 16.6 percent of Americans, live in households at risk of hunger. The Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, now puts food on the table for one in seven Americans. A family of three (one adult, two kids) earning more than $23,900 would not be eligible for food stamps.
The new documentary, "Hunger Hits Home," explores the crisis of childhood hunger in America through the eyes of the parents, children, anti-hunger activists, educators and politicians on the front lines of the battle. The film, which premieres April 14, is part of Food Network's ongoing partnership with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.
Here's what's at stake in our own backyard and beyond.
Living on food stamps and charitable assistance
The food stamp challenge results: eating on $30 a week
Could you live on $30 a week?
5 Shocking statistics about hunger
Witnesses to Hunger: A portrait of food insecurity in America
Childhood malnutrition has long lasting effects
Criticism aside, food stamp program is "an essential lifeline" for 46 million people
"A time of record need" for food insecure
Lawmakers eat on a food stamp budget
School lunch as a lifeline
When school's out for summer, stomachs grumble
In Kenya, when school is out, children face starvation
Hungry at the holidays
Feeding "motel kids"
Celebrity chefs pitching in
Tom Colicchio talks childhood hunger
Eric Ripert - Feeding the needy with fancy fish
Michel Nischan talks fixing a broken food system and helping out fishing families in the Gulf
Starvation in Somalia
What starvation feels like
The funny sounding nut paste that's saving children's lives in Somalia
"Feed the world's children. This, we should be able to do."
Catch up on all Eatocracy coverage of hunger and food deserts
From our fellow food sites:
FN Dish: 4 Ways to Take Action Against Childhood Hunger Today
EatingWell: 6 Inspiring People Who Are Fighting Hunger
BlogHer Food: Poor Girl on SNAP: Using EBT at the Farmers' Market
Food52: A Day in the Life at Share Our Strength
GMA.com: Fight Hunger With These 5 Charities
Cooking Channel: Join the Great American Bake Sale
Food Republic: Joining Bloggers to Take on Hunger
YumSugar: 5 Ways to Fight World Hunger Beyond Donating Money
what are the company's that went overseas for cheap labor and sell it here as if made in USA doing to help the cause
Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he will curse you for not giving him a fish.
Give a man a fish,
Feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish,
Feed him for life.
Teach that man how to make beer,
Show him how to live life to it's fullest.
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give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day.
teach a man to fish, and you will feed him for life.
Teaching people to be self sufficient and to grow food on their own.costs less, community gardens are a great idea whereby the whole community benefits and eats healthier at the same time!.
The obese people should eat 50% less and give that food to the ones that are starving. We should work together, TEAMWORK!
Thanks! I needed a good laugh today!
Many of the people who are obese are obese because they are eating the cheap, subisdized, pre-packaged, starchy garbage sold in stores, in part because that's what they can afford. (Sometimes, it might be what they actually chooe, and prefer, too. Or it might be the only thing available in small urban convienence stores.)
They're not necessarily eating MORE than those who are of better weight. They're just eating cheap junk, and it will show. Whether by weight or other health issues - time will tell.
Er, "actually choose" - this font's too small today!
"Will Work For Oprah!" Shirley Levi @ #OWNTV standing up for Equality, Hunger Relief & Autism Awareness http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi8wMFiolEw
GIMME MY FOOD STAMPS OR ELSE.
Focus on hunger and hope
The price of a 1 pound box of grits.
Day OBAMA took office $0.98
Hope and Change
for all of the dem poors people.
Remember “HE” will fight for you!!!
LOL ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! LOL ! ! ! ! ! ! !
He's doing a better job than that clown Bush you put in office for 8 years. Well actually, the Supreme Court appointed him President and the jacked up Ohio state vote count got him "reelected" but surely you get my point.
Hey look we have outsoured all the meaningful jobs of Americans so more americans now starving!
Lets make an article to show them how to deal with less or be like Bachmann and state that we should get rid of teh minimum wage so all people can work no matter what at any pay rate thus eliminating unemployment! There is a picture of Bachmann and her quote with a country like that and people who live in slums! The removal of the middle class is purely the economic hitman at work. You americans do not deserve that 40k job a year when they can make a vietnamese or indian do it for half as much!
Seriously America has sold its soul to the devil and warring in the name of god and oil and you get a pittance of an article such as this on how to do more with less. We Americans should be outraged!
Ban NAFTA and bring back the Americna jobs so we can pay Americans to feed their families properly!
Except that for jobs to return to America, Americans need to be able to do the jobs. And let's be honest, America is filled with millions of people who haven't even graduated high school. What use are they to society?
The only way to bring back jobs to America is for people to get out there, work hard, and graduate school and even consider college. If people can't even do that, they have no right to whine about not having a job.
exactly, we certainly shouldn't expect americans to buy a couple of packets of seeds and grow some of their own food. that's what factory jobs are for.
Shortly after suffering a spinal injury, I had two failed spinal surguries. My husband died shortly afterwards. Our daughter was only 22 months old at the time. I have one daughter. Disabled widow. Since then, I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, advanced degenerative disk disease, carpal tunnel, amoung other health issues. I don't sit and eat bonbons all day long, I quit smoking with a two pack a day habit, lost 60 pounds, don't drink, and am working on staying as pain free as possible. There are days I can't even push my daughter on the swing let along carry a gallon of milk home from the store. Don't drive. Just short of 40 years old. I qualify for a whole $16 worth of food stamps. Yep... $16! I do what I can with what I have. Are there people who abuse the system? Yes. There was a news article on a local station about a young lady who could not feed her children but she just happen to have a livingroom tv that was the size of the whole wall. How does that work? Either way, if we all spent a little less time judging, and a little more time helping our neighbors, we would all be better off. Bake some muffins, and knock on their door. Say hello. Offer to lift their bags. Whatever. But sitting in judgement never solved anything. Instead of spending all that cash on needless things, spend that same amount on someone you know needs a little help. We all know someone... :-/
I agree!! Stop judging. It is unfortunate that there are people out there who abuse the system but that is not everyone. I work for a hunger relief agency and I have met the adults and children who rely on this aid but often times it isn't enough. Not everyone trades it for drugs/liquor/etc....There are people with good intentions out there who, like you Lisa, are working as hard as they can to get by but unfortunately it isn't enough. We need to learn to help those in need without judging. Many of these ignorant comments below break my heart because I have seen those who truly need assistance and don't abuse the system. Just because one or two people do it does not mean everyone who benefits from SNAP, FoodShare, WIC or any other government funding program abuses it. Stop looking through a tunnel. Best of luck to you and your daughter Lisa.
Preaching on cnn about how to treat people does just as much good as judging. Life is a judgement, deal with it.
Food Stamps is only one of the 15 food giveaway programs, here is the complete list:
1. Food Stamp Program (now called SNAP – It's a SNAP to get free food) (note, the territory of Guam is in the food stamp program, 25% of its citizens receive FSs and has 50,000 people on Medicaid or the Medically Indigent Program BUT the citizens of Guam pay NO federal income taxes- they just get the freebies, compliments of the American taxpayers)
2. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
3. WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program
4. National School Lunch Program
5. School Breakfast Program
6. Summer Food Service Program
7. Emergency Food Assistance Program
8. Child and Adult Care Food Program
9. Commodity Supplemental Food Program
10. Special Milk Program
11. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
12. Nutrition Program for the Elderly
13. Commodity Distribution to Charitable Institutions and to Soup Kitchens and Food Banks
14. Nutrition Education and Training Program
15. Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands (note – in Puerto Rico 50% of the population is on the program, that's right – half the population! In addition 1,000,000 of them are on Medicaid. AND the citizens of Puerto Rico DO NOT pay federal income tax. It's all just a huge giveaway of American taxpayer dollars.)
Let's see.... This country has food stamps, AFDC, welfare, free school lunches and sometimes breakfasts, homeless shelters, a myriad of charities and food give-away programs, with subsidized housing and free medical services to fill in the gap, and some people are still going hungry? Something is out of joint. When I see TV reports of hungry people in Africa, they are all emaciated or bloated because of malnutrician. When the TV reports on hungry people in the U.S., they are all at least 20 lbs overweight! Like the post from Brandy, they not only sell the food stamps for drugs, but for liquor, cigarettes, and gambling.
wait a second
i thought we had an obesity problem in this country
so we have both?
50 million are starving
50 million are obese
there is the solution
take food from the obese and give to starving
Food insecurity looks different than it does in third world countries. It's cheaper to buy a bag of potato chips than a bundle of grapes or raspberries. Fresh is more expensive than processed so those who aren't making enough money or rely on government assistance may not have access to the healthy, nutritious foods they need. I'm not saying all obese people are food insecure, but you never know someone's situation until you're in it.
You don't get obese without eating too much. If you're eating too much, you can't be hungry from lack of food.
Wow, you hit the nail on the head! Our family did a complete life change several years ago and began really eating super healthy and joined the YMCA and were really doing well.. however in the last 3 years we have had to cancel our gym membership and can no longer afford to purchase lean meats and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that we were before. I have even had to get creative with meals that don't use meat at least 1 or 2 times a week because we can't afford it anymore. We live in AZ where it is so hot, but we tried a garden and it was a major failure and our water bill went up, so it cost more than we got out of it.
nolazy, yes you can. If you can only afford cheap junk, you are NOT getting true nutrition. You can indeed be starving - not, say, for starches, but certainly for healthy plant and protein ingredients. THAT's why some are obese They are eating too much... garbage - but there's not enough quality food people in these situations can afford, short of dumpster diving or raising their own food in some sunless closet.
They are starving for essential nutrients. Certainly, you could feel "full" on a diet of, say, packing "peanuts", but do you derive any real benefit?
This wouldn't be a problem if people didn't look at having kids as a government paycheck . Be responsible and do not expect those who behave responsibly to support all your wants.
I'd say most of them are NOT the Octa-mom.
Children are going hungry in the USA. The discussion of politics is not going to feed them. ACTA NON VERBA.
You are right. The parents (or breeding couples) should be feeding them.
Where I live, food stamps are traded for drugs and that is one of the reasons the children go hungry.
How about people using birth control and responsibly limiting family size? Then we won't have hunger to begin with. Having children you can't afford to feed and raise is child abuse!
It becomes even more abuse when the taxpayers are forced to feed and raise their kids.
Despite any well intentioned efforts of the government, no program will have long lasting benefits that does not encourage individuals to become more self sufficient with regards to food security and economic well being.
So, how do you use a program to "encourage" individuals? What a bunch of PC speak!
give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day.
teach a man to fish, and you will feed him for life.
teach people how they can produce/grow food on their own. food doesn't grow in stores, and mcdonalds. and growing a sustainable amount of produce to feed your family costs less than a meal and doesn't require a lot of effort. teach communities how to grow community gardens where there isn't a lot of gardening room for each individual. they'll eat healthier too.
Agreed ! My parents had nine children yet we were never hungry. We were nearly completely self-sufficient, eating precious little grocery store food.
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