Food A Luxury?
By Alane Cunningham – Contemporary Retirement
Deciding what to have to eat is a luxury I take for granted.
Lately I have been thinking about what it would be like to open the refrigerator and finding nothing there.
While many say the recession is officially over, for some, the life they once knew will never be the same. During the recession cutting back became a reality for many American families. And with the loss of jobs, foreclosures, and mounting debt, the once thriving middle-class is now needing the support of federally funded food programs.
According to USA Today, at the end of the economic boom in 2007, 13 million people or about 11% of all households were considered “food insecure”, the official term used by the government to define one’s inability to access an adequate amount of nutritious food at times during the year.
During the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009 the number of Americans considered food insecure was 17 million, the highest number since monitoring began in 1995. It has remained at close to that level.
44 million Americans (half of whom are children) are currently enrolled in SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, federally funded, but administered by the states.
Another 37 million Americans were fed by government affiliated food banks and faith based food pantries. This figure is up 46% from 2006.
Even though people have a job, own a home, or have retired from a job, they still may be eligible for assistance. If you know someone who you think could be hungry, help them. If you are working, encourage your company to get involved as a community effort. You can also help people apply for assistance, or tell them about programs. Hunger is something no one should experience.
About Alane Cunningham
Alane is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She retired from the University of Michigan after 27 years. She currently lives in Florida in a small beachside community with her husband. She navigates retirement with human nature observations realizing everyone must find their own way to happiness through this passage of life.