Did you know that nearly half of the 44 million Americans that are on food stamps today are children? Did you know that more than a fifth of all U.S. children are living in poverty and that a fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program? Did you know that most of the people that starve to death around the globe are children? In 2011, child hunger and child poverty are major problems in the United States and they are at epidemic levels in many areas of the world. The facts that are you are about to read are tough to stomach and they are meant to break your heart. Most of us need to be touched on an emotional level before we will take action. As I have written about previously, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. Unless a miracle happens, there is not going to be nearly enough food for everyone in the world in the future. We all need to prepare so that we will be able to feed our own families when that time comes and so that we will be able to be generous and share with others in need.
The food stamp program is the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned bread lines. Today, the number of Americans on food stamps is absolutely exploding. Despite claims that the economy is "recovering", the number of Americans relying on food assistance just continues to increase.
Many food retailers have seen food stamp usage soar to unprecedented levels. Just check out the following quote from a recent article posted on the website of a local Pennsylvania news station....
"The trend started about three years ago and it has increased significantly we have some stores up 40% from last year," said Scott Karns owner of seven Karns Supermarkets in central PA.
Sadly, a disproportionate number of those on food stamps are children. Even as you read this article, there are millions of children in the United States that are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.
The following are 20 facts about child hunger and child poverty that will break your heart....
#1 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010. In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.
#2 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years.
#3 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.
#5 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.
#6 More than 44 million Americans are currently on food stamps. That is an all-time record and that number is 18 million higher than it was back at the beginning of 2007.
#7 48 percent of the 44 million Americans that are now on food stamps are children.
#8 According to Feeding America's 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.
#9 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.
#10 According to Feeding America, 50.2 million Americans lived in "food insecure households" during 2009.
#11 Even with tens of millions of Americans on food stamps there are still large numbers of Americans that go hungry each night. According to the BBC, 15% of all U.S. households experienced a shortage of food at some point during 2009.
#12 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#13 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.
#14 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States. Statistically, there are more children in poor households than in wealthy ones.
#15 Child hunger is a major problem all over the world. Approximately 1 billion people around the world go to bed hungry each night.
#16 A lack of food among pregnant women in developing countries results in one out of every 6 babies being born with a low birth weight.
#17 Approximately 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.
#18 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world's population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.
#19 Somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.
#20 Almost 9 million children around the world died before they reached their fifth birthday during 2008. Approximately a third of all of those deaths were attributed to hunger and malnutrition.
Most Americans have traditionally thought of "hunger" as something that happens over in Africa or Asia, but that is simply not the case anymore.
There are tens of millions of Americans that would be going without enough food if it weren't for the food stamp program, school meal programs, food pantries, soup kitchens and the kindness of religious organizations.
Sadly, as the price of food continues to rise there are tens of millions more Americans that are on fixed incomes or on limited incomes that are going to be facing food insecurity.
The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas. That is going to rise even higher thanks to all of the new money that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have pumped into the financial system.
Inflation is a hidden tax that is very cruel. It hits those with limited resources the hardest.
What are most American families going to do someday when a loaf of bread is 10 dollars and a gallon of milk is 20 dollars?
And it is not just the price of food that is going up.
According to consulting firm Milliman Inc., the average American family of four that is covered by health insurance had an average of $19,393 in health care costs last year.
Many Americans (even if they have insurance) are simply avoiding doctors and avoiding hospitals altogether because they can no longer afford them.
Our whole system is breaking down. As the economy crumbles, frustration and anger are rising. As I have written about previously, the number of Americans that have "gone wild" seems to be increasing.
The following are a couple more examples of this phenomenon....
*When things start falling apart, people start going crazy. Just recently, one man stripped naked while riding a New York city subway. He hurled racial and ethnic slurs at the people around him and physically harassed a couple of people before a cop was able to wrestle him to the ground.
*Another example of this happened in California just a few days ago. An elderly woman pulled out a gun and held up a pregnant woman outside of a Kohl's department store in broad daylight on Mother's Day. When old women start shoving guns in our faces and demanding our money that should be a sign to all of us that things really are starting to fall to pieces.
Things are starting to get crazy but this is just the beginning.
Someday when the global economy is in shambles and there is a massive global food crisis, what do you think Americans are going to do when they have been without food for 3 or 4 days and their families are crying out for something to eat?
Don't think that it won't happen. The era of endless amounts of cheap food is coming to an end. There is going to be a massive amount of hunger and poverty in the years to come.
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