“Today’s report is heartbreaking,” says Davis. “It’s an avoidable tragedy that roughly 1 in 5 kids faces hunger in America.”
Contact: Meredith Jorss, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC — The number of kids facing hunger has skyrocketed according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2022. USDA reports 13 million children, or 18.5%, live in food insecure households. The following is a statement from Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign.
"1 in 5 kids facing hunger in our nation is a heartbreaking reality and an avoidable tragedy.
"We know how to end child hunger in this country. We were making progress before the pandemic started, and once it hit, we mitigated what could have been a massive and long-lasting hunger crisis because of smart investments in critical government programs. All of that progress has been eroded since those investments have been rolled back. Kids and families deserve better.
"The bottom line: policy matters. When our nation invests in nutrition programs like SNAP, school and summer meals, and programs that help get grocery and Child Tax Credit benefits into the hands of families with the lowest incomes and the highest needs, hunger and hardship recede. But these benefits do so much more than fill an empty stomach. When kids are nourished, they’re healthier, better able to learn and more likely to escape the cycle of poverty. And stronger, smarter kids means a stronger, smarter nation.
"These types of investments are especially critical for communities of color who experience persistent disparities. Today, food insecurity remains substantially higher than the national average for Black households with children (27.9%) and Hispanic households with children (24.7%).
"Coupled with the latest poverty report from the U.S. Census, which shows the largest one-year spike in poverty on record, it’s obvious our nation is at a crucial tipping point.
"This latest data makes it abundantly clear that Congress must unsnarl its current gridlock so we can get on the path toward enacting smart policies that can end hunger and poverty.
"Congress must act now to ensure these food insecurity rates don’t worsen. 16.7% of households with kids under the age of 6 face hunger — higher than the national average. And yet millions of moms and young kids who use WIC to buy formula, milk and fresh produce are facing an abrupt cut-off of these critical benefits unless Congress reaches a spending solution by November 17, the deadline for the current Continuing Resolution.
"Enhancements to the Child Tax Credit should be restored and strengthened. In 2021, the year these tax payments were available, child poverty fell by 46% and estimates show that 90% of this decline was attributed to the expanded CTC.
"And it’s imperative we continue to support the 42 million people, including 14 million kids, who use SNAP to buy groceries by protecting the value of these benefits and enacting smart SNAP policy through Farm Bill legislation.
"Families in America are hurting. But we know what will help. We need to ensure Congress finds a bipartisan path forward to protect the remaining vestiges of the investments in programs proven to work and to further strengthen them.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But millions of kids in the United States live with hunger. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.