September 7, 2017

Hunger Declines, But Budget Cuts Could Reverse Progress

Most Vulnerable, Least Visible in Medicare Debate: Older Americans. Photo: Bread for the World

Washington, D.C. – New data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that 12.3 percent of U.S. households were food insecure in 2016, declining further from a peak of 14.9 percent in 2011. Bread for the World warned that significant cuts to programs that help people living in hunger and poverty could reverse the progress that has been made.

“Unemployment has declined. Hunger has declined. Enrollment in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) has declined, too,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

“There is political pressure from the president, and some in Congress, for unprecedented cuts to anti-poverty programs,” Beckmann added. “If Congress slashes the programs that help families who struggle with hunger and poverty, food insecurity and hunger will increase again.”

The USDA’s annual report, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2016,” shows that more than 41 million Americans, including nearly 13 million children, lived at risk of hunger in 2016. That is 12.3 percent of U.S. households. 

Communities of color experienced higher rates of food insecurity than the general U.S. population. More than 22.5 percent of African-American households and 18.5 percent of Latino households experienced food insecurity – at nearly twice the national rate in 2016.

According to the USDA, food insecurity is “when consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”

The system of safety-net programs launched in the 1960s has substantially reduced hunger, even though the wages of low-income workers have been stagnant for decades.

“Safety-net programs were a lifeline to millions of families when unemployment soared during the Great Recession,” Beckmann said. “We can’t let President Trump and our current Congress take this security away from all the American families struggling to get by.”  

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

For Advocacy

Faith

African at Heart

November 22, 2019

Insight

From the Blog