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Bread for the World denounces the recent killings of George Floyd and generations of Africans and their descendants in the U.S. and around the globe who have been devastated by structural racism and inequity.Read Statement
Washington, D.C. – A Bread for the World analysis released today indicates that hunger among senior Americans is on the rise. However, federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) have helped slow the increase in hunger among this age group.
“Our grandparents who worked hard all their lives now have to choose between eating or purchasing their medication,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This is a choice no one, especially the elderly, should have to make in a country as rich as ours.”
Seniors - adults age 65 and older - make up 12.9 percent of the U.S. population. The analysis, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Hunger by the Numbers Among Older Americans,” indicates that 3.9 million seniors live below the poverty line.
The amount of seniors experiencing hunger increased by 88 percent between 2001 and 2011. Programs like SNAP and Meals on Wheels have helped curb this rise. However, if trends continue, the hungry elderly will increase by 50 percent.
Unfortunately, cuts to safety net programs like SNAP as well as the stigma attached to these programs have prevented some seniors from receiving the support they need.
“We must protect these vital programs and erase the stigma that prevents many seniors from applying for these programs,” said Beckmann. “These programs are a ‘hand-up,’ not a handout.” Bread’s analysis, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Hunger by the Numbers Among Older Americans” coincides with the observance of Older Americans Month in the United States.
These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C.
With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.