There was stunning news released by the U.S. Census Bureau today about child hunger. In 2014, there were 16 million children living off food stamp assistance. That is one in every five children in the United States.
The food stamp (SNAP) program gives needy families purchasing power at grocery stores. Since the Great Recession of 2007 the need for SNAP has gone way up. Before 2007 the number of children on food stamps was around 9 million.
High unemployment and low wages has made it hard for families to afford food. The need for SNAP has never been greater. However, Congress reduced the SNAP program starting in late 2013. That move has placed a strain on food banks to make up the difference, which they cannot achieve on their own.
This year the Congress will be crafting a new child nutrition bill. This will tackle issues such as the school lunch, breakfast programs and after school and summer feeding. There are improvements needed to these initiatives. My recent opinion piece, published by the Louisville Courier-Journal, discusses this vital legislation.
With so many children in hunger, and needing food stamps, aid must be increased. The danger is the largest generation of impoverished and hungry children America has ever seen. The consequences will be devastating.