"There is definite momentum on the path to end hunger," says Share Our Strength's Lisa Davis. "We must not allow new policies to reverse this positive trend."
Contact: Meredith Jorss at 202.769.5554 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. - There has been a significant decline in the number of children living in food insecure homes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2018. Among its findings: Food insecurity in households with children is at its lowest dating back to 1998, and the number of children living in food insecure households dropped from 12.5 million (17%) to 11.2 million (15.2%). The following is a statement from Share Our Strength Senior Vice President Lisa Davis.
“The number of kids living in food insecure homes in the United States has been steadily declining since 2011, and today’s data show there is significant progress toward putting our nation on the path to end childhood hunger in the United States.
The report shows that the prevalence of overall food insecurity among adults and children has declined to pre-recession (2007) levels. There was a dramatic decline in food insecurity among households with children, from 15.7% to 13.9%. And food insecurity in households with children in 2018 is now lower than in any year back to 1998, when the USDA began tracking this statistic.
This is great news which should be celebrated. This decline was possible thanks in large part to bipartisan efforts around the economic recovery, including the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and work done to increase access to nutrition programs for adults and children alike.
If we keep this momentum going, ending child food insecurity is within our reach. We must not allow new policies proposed by the White House to undo nearly a decade of progress. Today, that risk is real.
The White House has proposed eliminating Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a move which would end SNAP benefits for more than 3 million low-income people – most of whom are working poor families, seniors and people with disabilities – and put school meals in jeopardy for more than 500,000 children. At the same time, the Administration has announced a “Public Charge” rule, imposing a “wealth test” on legal immigrants, which penalizes families for using SNAP. This is generating widespread fear among immigrant families that participating in programs that help feed their children will impact their ability to stay together in the United States.
Today’s numbers show that we can win the fight against hunger in this nation, but we are at a crucial tipping point today. On the one hand, we have an opportunity to continue to lower food insecurity, creating a nation of nourished, productive citizens and children who have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. We know what works: Leadership from elected officials at all levels of government, practical, bipartisan policies, and the hard work happening every day from schools and organizations on the front lines.
On the other, we know what hurts our efforts. If these proposed changes go into effect, there is a very real risk that this positive progress will be eroded by policy changes that penalize the poor and make it harder to feed our children. We must not let this happen.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org