Hunger in America Essay
Hunger in America
Early this year, the talent search reality show American Idol used the popularity of its program to bring to light a problem that most Americans did not realize existed until that point in time. The show presented us with the harsh reality that, although America is the last remaining super power and has the most stable economy on the planet, it has a section of its population that deals with hunger on a daily basis. I found myself sitting in front of the TV set in disbelief. I wondered how some people of America can be hungry all the time and not have enough to eat when food seems so easy to come by.
As far as I was concerned, food was aplenty and could be shared by everybody. I knew that the government has a food stamps program in place for those deserving “below the poverty line income” families. Charitable organizations host soup kitchens and a meal can even be had for a dollar over at McDonald’s. I will admit that times are rough for us these days. Money is tight even for the middle income bracket of society because of the recent financial crunches that have been hitting the nation. Plenty of people have recently lost their homes and jobs.
Some people have unexpected financial emergencies that they are not prepared to deal with. When such situations occur, families tend to restructure their budgets and the one part of the budget that is usually hit hard is the food allowance. For most American families who do not have credit cards to time them over from paycheck to paycheck, hunger becomes an ugly monster that not only rears its ugly head but also swallows the family whole. American families usually sacrifice their food supply thinking that keeping the other necessities of life in working order is important in their quest to keep the family from starving.
A low to middle income father or mother will choose to spend on car repairs and sacrifice the food supply because the car takes them to the job that pays them cash which in turn buys the food. Medical care is unintentionally put on the back burner while the family tries to cope with rising food prices. When a family member is taken seriously ill and needs emergency care, it is the food budget that will automatically be slashed in order to afford the necessary healthcare. Basically, Americans are hungry because the government miscalculated the actual cost of living allowance for a basic family of 3.
Originally designed to figure out the food cost for a started family, it failed to take inflation, transportation, rise in utility costs, and healthcare insurance into the picture. Looking at today’s actual cost of living, a $5 hourly minimum wage is an insult to the worker and his needs in life. I think that the main reason that people in America are going hungry is because after the Welfare Reform Act of 1990 was introduced into law, it became almost impossible for families in need of food aid to qualify for the food stamps. I cannot understand the logic behind that move of the government.
Why would a government willingly stop supporting the people who voted them into power? The government collects taxes from us specifically because there are government projects and social needs that need to be addressed for the benefit of the entire population. This includes a more effective food stamp program that does not discriminate amongst the already poor and needy population of the land. Food stamps and soup kitchens should always be open and available to those who need it. If they get a job later on and stop needing the food stamps, well and good.
But if they lose their jobs again or need the help of the food stamps to quash their hunger pangs, those tax dollars they paid to the government while working better be ready and available to help them in the form of food aid. After all, nobody chooses to be nor wants to be hungry and we would all want to receive help when we need it the most.
Work Cited Valentine, Vikki. (2007). Q&A: The Causes behind Hunger in America. NPR. Retrieved October 15, 2007 from http://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=5021812.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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