Last Thursday I wrote about America’s culinary preferences for their Thanksgiving feasts. Today I would like to address the sober topic, the number of people that are not enjoying the bounty of food in our country. According to the USDA, approximately 50 million Americans are food insecure.
Food insecurity: The limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods for all household members. As stated above, in the USDA’s new study, Household Food Security in the United States, 2009, revealed that 50 million (16.6%) Americans are food insecure – 1 in 6 Americans. More alarming, the report indicated 1 in 4 children; 17 million in total are food insecure. In a report commissioned by Feeding America and The ConAgra Foods Foundation, Child Food Insecurity, failing to provide children with adequate nutrition not only results in health and physical developmental issues, but it impairs their cognitive learning development.
The good news – the Senate unanimously approved the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act in August which commits $4.5 billion to various child nutrition programs over the next ten years. The bad news – the bill is currently stalled in Congress. Why has the bill been stalled? Ironically, members of Congress and anti-hunger groups are protesting the funding because the Senate proposed taking money away from the future food stamps program. I apologize for being repetitive, but bottom-line, we have a hunger problem here in America, just ask the 50 million Americans that might not be enjoying turkey with stuffing, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie Thursday. Maybe Capitol Hill can find the money somewhere else.
So let us all be thankful Thursday for our good fortunes. I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. I am off to New York to celebrate with my family, but will be back Friday with Santa Goes Mobile.