In one of the richest countries in the world, we have millions of children and families who go to bed hungry. According to the US Census Bureau, one in four children under the age of five lives in poverty, and almost one in ten lives in extreme poverty (defined as an annual income below $11,746). Proper nutrition is the foundation for a child’s physical and mental health and development, academic performance, and economic productivity. Children who are malnourished—even briefly—can experience irreversible cognitive and physical impairments.
Nearly fifty million Americans, including 15.8 million children, live in food-insecure homes. Federal nutrition programs work to provide food for people who might otherwise go hungry. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, widely known as food stamps) is the first line of defense for low-income Americans facing hunger. Roughly 47 million Americans receive food stamps. Experts report that nearly half the current recipients of food stamps are children, another 20 percent are elderly or disabled, and roughly 1 million are struggling veterans.
In 2014, Congress passed a Farm Bill that cut $8.6 billion from the SNAP program, which is equivalent to more than a week’s worth of meals every month for a half million American families. Moreover, there are plans for an additional $11 billion to be cut back by 2017.
Nutrition is vital for leading a long healthy life and I am committed to helping wipe out hunger in America. A portion of our annual proceeds are donated to local and national food banks, such as Feeding America, where every dollar donated equals ten meals for people facing hunger.
If you would like to make a donation now to Feed America click here.