HUNGER IN AMERICA
MYTH VS. REALITY



~ People are poor because they are too lazy to work.

Almost half of the people served nationally live in households with at least one working adult. And, of the 23 million people fed ever year, 9 million are children under the age of 18.

~ Hunger and Poverty are brought on by people's own personal failures.

In today's economic climate, we're seeing clients who - in years past - had been strong supporters of and donors to our hunger-relief efforts. More than three million jobs have disappeared since the beginning of 2001. And millions of primary wage earners have been out of work so long that their unemployment benefits have been eliminated.

~ If people work hard and play by the Rules, they'll be able to succeed in America.

For tens of millions of Americans, a full-time job with benefits and a living wage is not an option. Instead, families must balance the income earned by working multiple low-wage jobs against the high cost of housing, childcare, medicle care, and utility bills. Food insecurity is frequently the result of their budget challenges.

~ There are plenty of programs to take care of the hungry. They don't need my help.

Food stamps have long been considered the cornerstone federal program to alleviate hunger in America. Almost two of every three people who depend on our agencies for food applied for food stamp assistance. Nationally, only 30 percent had been successful in qualifying for the program. Among the families using food stamps, only 15 percent report that the food stamps last through the end of the month.

~ People on food stamps use food stamps to buy junk food and alcohol.

The use of food stamps at approved redemption sites is very strictly regulated. Food stamps may not be used to buy alcoholic beverages, tobacco, pet food, or even cleaning supplies and diapers. Among families using food stamps, studies have shown that they purchase and consume fewer snack foods than the average American family.

~~ From: A Publication of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan - Flint, MI
Volume 7, No.1 - Spring, 2004