Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why we don’t make a dent in the hunger problem

We never see improvement and the rolls of both poverty workers and the needy continue to grow. Hunger became "food insecurity" and poverty is an arbitrary number set by the Government that is raised every year, but “percent of poverty level” is the standard for benefits. 200% of poverty is the standard for food assistance in Ohio. To be "food insecure" means at some time during the year you changed your eating pattern to accommodate your resources.

The actual number of Americans who are “food insecure” for more than a few days is tiny, under 1% and most of those are children in unmarried households and elderly without family, but even a day counts toward the annual figure--the figure we see in the news is 14.3%.  This guarantees political fights in Congress when USDA funding comes up, government grants to academics, fodder for campaigning, and good jobs for people and agencies in the benefits distribution field. Churches, charities, non-profits and foundations also receive a portion of their annual budget from government grants. Food pantries, mostly run by churches, are involved in a complex mix of federal, state, local and non-profit resources.

62% of "food insecure" families participate in SNAP, WIC or free and reduced school meals (we used to call this school lunch, but now it is breakfast, lunch, and after school, plus summer meals).

Poverty rolls took a big jump in 2008, but haven't really come down.  A chunk of ARRA money in 2009 went to find and enroll people in the programs. It was very successful. Because of the weak economy, they remain on the rolls.

If poverty were solved tomorrow, we’d have a whole new crew of poor people—those who formerly worked in the business.


The Ohio Association of Foodbanks was awarded $2.18 Million Federal Navigator Grant for a 2nd year not to feed the hungry, but to enroll people in Obamacare.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,300 member charities including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. In SFY 2014, the association and its member foodbanks were able to acquire and distribute over 186 million pounds of food and grocery items. The association also serves as the home of The Ohio Benefit Bank and operates the state’s largest navigator program for the Affordable Care Act.


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