Why are we letting Americans go hungry?

In the richest nation on Earth, tens of millions of Americans are struggling to find enough to eat. According to the new “Hunger in America” report from the organization Feeding America, 46.5 million people in our country rely on food assistance programs to survive. As if that isn't bad enough, one out of five families who need assistance include a current or former member of the military, and forty percent of these households include a child. Despite these staggering statistics, food assistance programs like SNAP have been hit with massive cuts in recent years, and many people aren't even told that they're eligible for benefits.

Many people are turning to food charities to find enough to eat, but those programs are stretched far beyond their capabilities. In fact, these charities are so over-extended, that one in six is worried that they may have to shut down. The “Hunger in America” report shows exactly how dire the situation is in our nation. The authors explain that more than 50 percent of families who use food assistance are forced to eat expired food, about 35 percent have had to sell belongings to eat, and almost 80 percent have to buy cheap, unhealthy food just to survive.

Those who do qualify for nutrition assistance are not fairing much better. One in five households who receive food stamps say that they use their entire monthly benefit with a week. Republicans in Congress have no trouble finding the money for bombs and tax cuts and corporate welfare, but they can't seem to find an extra cent to feed hungry Americans.

This is not how the wealthiest nation on earth should treat its citizens. It's time to stand up for our fellow Americans. Before Congress authorizes one more dollar for war profiteers or oil companies, we must demand that they make sure every American has enough to eat.

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