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Hunger In America Essay, Research Paper

Hunger in America:

Hunger in America is not a food issue; it is an economic issue. There is plenty of food to go around. If people are starving or undernourished it is because of their own stupidity not for going and collecting public assistance. Every person can get a job if they choose to work. Poverty is driven because people have little or no education. Social back round and pockets of poverty areas also contribute to the poverty issue. Another driver that increased year over year is the single parent household. Each year the number of children born to parents out of wedlock is increasing. Eliminate poverty through education and Hunger in America will go away.

There has been many programs and legislation over the last few years and decades to address the war on poverty and the need to provide education for those who will be able to support themselves. The two issues that best address the problems of food insecurity are The Hunger Relief Act of 1999 (S. 1805) sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), joined by Senators Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and Patrick Leahy

(D-VT). As well as it companion bill in the House (H.R.3192) sponsored by James Walsh (R-NY) and Sue Kelly (R-NY). Another great program is the Welfare Reform Act that addresses in detail Education and Training.

The Hunger Relief Act of 1999 addresses food insecurity. This is done because it targets Food Stamps improvements to insure adequate nutrition assistance for at risk groups such

as elderly, children and low income families. The USDA identified that in 1998 there were over 6 million adults and over three million children that experienced hunger.

Poverty has driven people to be hungry. It is not uncommon for some to make choices whether to eat or have shelter over their head. Hunger takes it toll whether through health risk, slow development, lower test scores and lower grades in school.

Although I have identified poverty as the driver, I must state that in America someone can be identified as living in poverty and be a millionaire at the same time. The government criteria is to looks at a person?s income and the total cost of their living expenses. A person that owns a business with over a million dollars in income and assets and shows $16,530.00 in salary would be entitled to food Stamps. Although there are restrictions on owning homes and cars it is not uncommon for people to have all assets in the name of their company.

The Welfare Reform Act has came up with many recommendations as to how to rectify poverty through education. The most common is the Human Capital Approach; this would advocate education and training to prepare welfare recipients for jobs that will eventually help them leave poverty. Education and training is not a last resort, this is to be used to make people more marketable in the work place. The welfare reform Act provides Adult Basic Education (ABE). The basic education could be a General

Education Diploma (GED), or vocational training that would them a specialized skill set.

It is common knowledge that education, skill set, and work experience will lead to a higher paying jobs.

If there is one there must be many thousands of programs nation wide to train and develop people to be more productive in the work place. In New York City Mayor Gulinani has instituted a program that mandates welfare recipients to work for the MTA transit system as porters. Large companies such as Burger King and Bell Atlantic also have programs that will train and employ ex welfare recipients.

Although education is the key to getting a job or a higher paying job. Many people still fight poverty due to the fact that flipping burgers or pumping gas will not support a family in the year 2000. Many people have become dependent on the welfare entitlement that they have become use to over the years. It is not uncommon to see second and third generation receiving welfare. The education has to start early and not after someone is on welfare.

Poverty is in most cases restricted to certain ?Poverty Areas?. The areas in many cases are restricted to extreme poverty areas. If we use New Your City as our example, you could be walking in the 80?s (the Upper East Side) past brownstone homes that are worth over 3 or 4 million dollars. If you were to go twenty blocks north you would be in Harlem where the same brownstone would be abandon or worth maybe $100,000. 00. Much of the poverty in America is because of racial or ethnic makeup. In today?s society as in the past a large number of Blacks and Hispanics live in these designated poverty areas. Because these areas are limited to pocket areas, most are in metropolitan areas as

well as in the south. In the designated poverty areas unemployment and woman raising families with no husband is the biggest challenge.

As one travels through out America you will pass roadside stands, diners, restaurants and endless fast food eateries. It is evident that Hunger in America is not because of a lack of food. It is because some people have a lack of money. When you have a lack of money you are now experiencing poverty.

Hunger Relief Act of 1999 (Ellen Vollinger 202 986-2200 ex 3016)

U.S. Census Bureau (Statistical Brief, Poverty Areas http://www.census.gov/socdemo/www/povarea.hml

U.S. Census Bureau Poverty Thresholds


U.S.D.A Community Food Security initiative Action Areas


Anti ? Hunger Initiative Release No. 0053.99


Food Stamps & Nutrition Programs


Measuring Poverty ? A New Approach


Education and Training under Welfare Reform


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