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Ending Child Hunger in the United States

January 16, 2015 Comments off

Ending Child Hunger in the United States (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

In 2013, 15.8 million U.S. children were at risk of hunger. For children, even brief periods of hunger carry consequences that may last a lifetime. Many children suffer from nutritional deficiencies, sometimes referred to as “hidden hunger” since they can cause serious health problems in children who don’t “look hungry.” Nutrition affects mental health and academic achievement as well as physical health. But the damage caused by food insecurity is unnecessary and preventable. Federal nutrition programs help millions of children eat well; these programs must be maintained and strengthened to provide more eligible children with healthier food. When Congress reauthorizes child nutrition programs in 2015, the emphasis must be on enabling programs to serve all eligible children well—from WIC for infants, to meals at daycare for preschoolers, to school lunch, breakfast, and summer food for elementary and secondary students. The United States simply cannot afford the consequences of allowing children to go without the nutritious food they need. Strong child nutrition programs must be a top national priority.

Hunger and Poverty among Hispanics — Fact Sheet

January 15, 2015 Comments off

Hunger and Poverty among Hispanics — Fact Sheet (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

As millions of Americans begin to climb out of the deep hole the recession created, the federal government has to focus on further reducing unemployment as well as income inequality. Communities of color tend to suffer disproportionately from unemployment and low wages, thus experiencing higher levels of poverty and hunger. Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, both in native-born and foreign-born populations. However, Hispanics, as with the general population, are starting to see reductions of hunger and poverty due to a decrease in unemployment.

Spanish version also available.

Approximately 1 Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as State Waivers Expire

January 12, 2015 Comments off

Approximately 1 Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as State Waivers Expire
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Roughly 1 million of the nation’s poorest people will be cut off SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) over the course of 2016, due to the return in many areas of a three-month limit on SNAP benefits for unemployed adults aged 18-50 who aren’t disabled or raising minor children. These individuals will lose their food assistance benefits after three months regardless of how hard they are looking for work.

One of the harshest pieces of the 1996 welfare law, this provision limits such individuals to three months of SNAP benefits in any 36-month period when they aren’t employed or in a work or training program for at least 20 hours a week. Even SNAP recipients whose state operates few or no employment programs for them and fails to offer them a spot in a work or training program — which is the case in most states — have their benefits cut off after three months irrespective of whether they are searching diligently for a job. Because this provision denies basic food assistance to people who want to work and will accept any job or work program slot offered, it is effectively a severe time limit rather than a work requirement, as such requirements are commonly understood. Work requirements in public assistance programs typically require people to look for work and accept any job or employment program slot that is offered but do not cut off people who are willing to work and looking for a job simply because they can’t find one.

The loss of this food assistance, which averages approximately $150 to $200 per person per month for this group, will likely cause serious hardship among many. Agriculture Department (USDA) data show that the individuals subject to the three-month limit have average monthly income of approximately 19 percent of the poverty line, and they typically qualify for no other income support.

The indigent individuals at risk are diverse. About 40 percent are women. Close to one-third are over age 40. Among those who report their race, about half are white, a third are African American, and a tenth are Hispanic. Half have only a high school diploma or GED. They live in all areas of the country, and among those for whom data on metropolitan status are available, about 40 percent live in urban areas, 40 percent in suburban areas, and 20 percent in rural areas.

Feed the Future: 2014 Year in Review

January 5, 2015 Comments off

Feed the Future: 2014 Year in Review
Source: U.S. Agency for International Development and other agencies

For generations, the United States has been a leader in providing development assistance across the globe to alleviate suffering and build shared progress and prosperity. But global food price spikes and resulting instability in 2007 and 2008 were a wake-up call: More needed to be done to break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.

The answer: Unlock the potential of agriculture as the key to reducing hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition through a movement that became Feed the Future.

In 2014, the U.S. Government and its partners have continued to build on Feed the Future’s early success to drive real change on a large scale. Read on for highlights on how we’re sustaining progress toward the goal of ending hunger in our lifetimes.

2015 Hunger Report: When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger

December 9, 2014 Comments off

2015 Hunger Report: When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger
Source: Bread for the World Institute
From press release:

The 2015 Hunger Report, When Women Flourish…We Can End Hunger, released today by Bread for the World Institute, identifies the empowerment of women and girls as essential in ending hunger, extreme poverty, and malnutrition around the world and in the United States.

The 2015 Hunger Report comes at a time when the 114th Congress, which starts in January, will have 100 women legislators – the most ever in U.S. history. Despite the fact that fully 22 percent of the world’s legislators are female, women face barriers that limit their ability to engage fully in economic activity. Women are also more likely to earn less or work in low-wage jobs.

The report also shows that women’s willingness to share men’s breadwinning responsibilities has not been matched by men’s willingness to share unpaid household work or caregiving responsibilities. Though domestic work is a public good in the same way that education, clean water, clean air, and the food supply are, it is not recognized as such. Women constitute half the global population.

New Report: The Criminalization of Food-Sharing Practices

November 19, 2014 Comments off

New Report: The Criminalization of Food-Sharing Practices
Source: National Coalition for the Homeless

On Tuesday, October 21, Fort Lauderdale Commissioners will vote on a proposed ordinance that will severely limit the capabilities of groups to distribute food to people experiencing homelessness. According to our research, over 30 American cities that have tried to introduce similar legislation in the past two years.

The new report, Share No More: The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People In Need, documents the recent known cases of food-sharing restrictions throughout the country. Since January 2013, 21 cities have successfully restricted the practice of sharing food with people who are experiencing homelessness while at least ten others have introduced ordinances that are pending approval.

These restrictions primarily come about in three different forms; the first is by restricting the use of public property. In this scenario, individuals and organizations are generally required to obtain a permit, often for a fee, to share food in a park or in another public space. 12 cities have recently passed legislation that imposes this type of restriction.

The second type of legislative restriction is to require groups to comply with city/county/state food-safety regulations. Since January 2013, four cities have passed legislation that required individuals and organizations to comply with their food-safety regulations when sharing food with people experiencing homelessness.

The Cost of Inaction for Young Children Globally: Workshop Summary (2014)

September 18, 2014 Comments off

The Cost of Inaction for Young Children Globally: Workshop Summary (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine (IOM); National Research Council

The Cost of Inaction for Young Children Globally is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally in April 2014 to focus on investments in young children and the cost of inaction. Participants explored existing, new, and innovative science and research from around the world to translate this evidence into sound and strategic investments in policies and practices that will make a difference in the lives of children and their caregivers. This report discusses intersections across health, education, nutrition, living conditions, and social protection and how investments of economic, natural, social, and other resources can sustain or promote early childhood development and well-being.

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