Actions to Help End Hunger

Sharon Moriarty’s End Homelessness blog offers a list of five actions we can take in five minutes to help end hunger in the U.S. It’s a timely and important posting.

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more Americans are receiving food stamps than ever before. As of September, they totaled more than 31.5 million–17% more than last year.

But this is only a sign of how the recession is pushing more people into poverty. To understand the full impact, we need to consider how poor you have to be to qualify for food stamps and how extraordinarily difficult it is to keep nutritious food on the table if you depend on food stamps.

At this point, a family of three can get food stamps only if its gross annual income is less than $22,900. The family’s maximum monthly food stamp allotment covers, on average, less than $1.60 per person per meal. This in times of soaring food, home energy and medical costs, plus the acute shortage of affordable housing in many communities.

The Food Action and Research Center recently issued its annual State of the States report. It brings home what USDA figures say about hunger in our nation’s capital, as well as the 50 states.

The FRAC report also offers a four-point anti-hunger strategy for the Administration, Congress and state and local governments. As an immediate step, it recommends a temporary boost in food stamp benefits. This is something numerous other organizations also recommend.

You can support the recommendation by calling your representative in Congress, toll free, at 800-473-6711. Or you can e-mail them through their websites. You can find out who they are and access their sites through the main House of Representatives and Senate sites.

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