Food banks across America are bracing for the end of federally-funded, extended unemployment benefits. Read the Huffington Post’s report here .
Vicki Escarra, CEO of Feeding America, said that her organization feeds nearly six million people every week. Feeding America is “bracing for it [the end of unemployment benefits].” If the benefits lapse, Escarra said she expects the numbers of those being fed each week to rise dramatically.
Congress has already allowed extended unemployment benefits to lapse twice this year. Nearly 2.5 millon unemployed Americans had their benefits cut off for nearly two months over the summer (see Huff Post link above).
A report by Feeding America revealed that 37 million Americans were “served annually by Feeding America” and “include[s] nearly 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. Each week, approximately 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance…this is a 27 percent increase over numbers reported in Hunger in America 2006.”
Also reported, “76 percent (10 million) of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal…11 million households with children served are also food insecure…70 percent of households [served by Feeding America] have incomes below the federal poverty line….” And so on, the carnage continues. (read the report Hunger In America 2010 Key Findings).
While Congress diddles around extending the expiring Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, millions of unemployed and financially-strapped Americans are cutting back on food. Escarra says, “Middle class families who have lost homes, who have lost jobs, who have any kind of illness…. They don’t have any disposable income…they’ve got to pay rent, they have to pay transportation. There’s no giving on that. They’ll cut back on food every time.”
Obama Slithers Around Letting Bush Tax Cuts Expire (read here)
2010: The Best Year to Die (read here)