Hunger in United States of America? No way! It is hard to believe that substantial numbers of people struggle to find daily meals in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Shocking as it may be, the nation of dreams, cars, and gadgets has millions who go hungry each day. When I first began to read about America’s hunger problem, I was in denial. I didn’t want to believe that it was true. It couldn’t be true. Sadly, I was wrong. So instead of ignoring the problem, I decided I would do something about it. America’s hunger problem is what inspired me to launch Mogl in 2011 and since then, we have been on a mission to end hunger.
We have donated over 750 meals to feed those who are food insecure since 2011 and we are just getting started. But donating meals is only half the fight and we can only do so much. The most important thing we can do is create awareness around this issue. The goal of this post is to do just that: educate readers on the issues that affect so many Americans.
What does “Food Insecure” actually mean?
The U.S. government describes hungry or “food insecure” households as ones where sometime during the previous year of review, families were unable to gather essential food. Food insecurity is growing at an alarmingly high rate each year in the U.S.
Many Americans who earn low wages remain slightly above the official poverty line and are not eligible for any food related benefits or programs. Furthermore, access to cheap food versus healthy food is also a major issue in the U.S. Most areas affected by hunger fall in the “Food Desert” regions, where there are many supermarkets, but they primarily sell unhealthy varieties of nourishment.
10 Shocking Facts about Hunger in America
One-sixth of the American population struggles to arrange for basic meals every day. About 50 million people in America are in need of hunger and poverty-related relief, out which 12 million are children, and another 8.8 million are senior citizens.
Rate of food insecurity and skipping of meals is twice as high in black and Hispanic households.
Nearly 54% of high food insecurity regions in America are rural.
15% of residents in large American Cities face severe hunger issues each year.
According to reports, areas that had statistically higher hunger averages than the nationally accepted limits in 2014 included Missouri (16.9 percent), Georgia (16.9 percent) and Ohio (16 percent).
Nearly 40 % of food produced in America goes uneaten every year. This food, if conserved, can feed more than half of the hungry population in the United States. If American supermarkets start saving food they throw away regularly, they could add around 30,000 meals every week for the needy.
Scarcity of food is not the main cause of hunger in America. The ups and downs in poverty levels, owing to unemployment and wage growth rates, directly influence hunger statistics. But is poverty the sole cause of the hunger phenomenon? Not really. Nearly 60 percent of food insecure households had one full-time wage earner in the family. This highlights the role of causes such as high inflation and rising food prices that play a major role in food insecurity.
Post-recession, nearly 95 percent of income gains have gone only to the top 1 percent of the American population. About one-third of U.S. workers are paid less than $12 per hour, which is not enough for them to earn a decent meal for their family. Stagnant wage growth and lack of opportunities to earn higher wages pushes food insecurity further.
The number of families receiving federal benefits like Food Stamps dropped by nearly 8 percent in 2014, because of new policies passed by congress. About 28 percent of food-insecure people are not eligible for food stamp benefits, as such assistance goes to households with an income at or below 185% of the defined poverty line.
If the hunger crisis in the Unites States is not curtailed in time, some experts believe it could affect more than 20% of the American population in the next two years. This is an increase of 4% from current levels.
As hard as they work, there are many Americans who just can’t make proper food arrangements for themselves and their families every day. The Federal Government’s initiative to combat hunger does not seem to be providing much help to the hungry at present. For reasons that are both economic and humanitarian, it is time to take concrete steps against hunger!
Join us at Mogl.com in our efforts to end hunger!