Hungry in the USA
There's poverty, and then there's hunger. A new report from the USDA says hunger in the US has increased by 30% in just one year, and that nearly 1 in 6 households don't have enough to eat. I don't know about you; I can deal with being poor, but hungry? I find it deeply frightening to imagine not knowing how or when I will get my next meal. The federal government has pledged more money to food insecurity, including renewing funding for programs like Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the School Lunch and Breakfast Program. But advocates are worried that the funding won't do enough to help the 49 million people who are hungry right now. The USDA and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack note the (fairly obvious) connection between massive unemployment and the rise in food insecurity. President Obama said in a statement that he has committed an additional $85 million to identifying to strategies to deal with the issue. It seems like hunger is a cause everyone can get behind. In this politically polarized environment, I am curious to follow the discussion and see what alternatives are tossed out there. Meanwhile, David Becker at the Huffington Post posted some ideas about how individuals can help out. More locally, you can tap into the Bay Area Food Bank network.
Bonus factoid: Though volunteerism is up in California in the last year, we are still 42nd in the nation according to volunteeringinamerica.gov.
(Photo by sterlingpr)