Hungry American Children

by Alesia Lucas | September 5, 2012 12:00 am

There have been a lot of speeches at both the Democratic and Republican Conventions, but only Jeff Bridges has spoken at both.  Unfortunately, Bridges speech will not garner the much needed attention his topic deserves: ending childhood hunger in the United States.

Bridges is right to bring the topic to both conventions. Fighting childhood hunger is and should be a bipartisan issue.  One in five American children goes to bed hungry every night.  How can one of the richest nations in the world−despite what politicians may say−allow this? We can’t afford to let our children go hungry, but with strict cuts to safety net programs on the table poverty and hunger rates will increase.

Beyond being a moral issue, child hunger also causes problems in the economy and education sector. Hungry children aren’t able to perform well in school and even with over 46 million people receiving food stamps; hunger continues to be an issue.  Food stamps help but do not solve the problem and with austerity talks occurring in Washington, safety nets like SNAP (food stamps) will be receiving massive cuts.

America has the second highest rate of child poverty in the world and our national poverty rate continues to climb. More than ever we need to have an economic plan in place that caters to everyone. Austerity economics will hurt already suffering Americans and scholars say that it’ll only increase the deficit. “Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All” lays out an economic blueprint that contrasts the strict austerity agenda. The report emphasizes the importance of public investment and collective bargaining.

When our economy shifts from catering to the very rich minority to the majority, growth is inevitable. America cannot continue to ignore the most vulnerable and expect to grow. Do you believe that no kid should go hungry in America? Take the No Kid Hungry pledge today: http://www.nokidhungry.org/ . If you haven’t already, take a look at Prosperity Economics and choose an #Econ4All.

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