Just last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest “food insecurity” figures and found that there were 36.2 million Americans that struggled against hunger in 2007. That’s nearly one in eight Americans. In Missouri, the numbers are just as staggering. In the USDA report, almost 13 percent of Missourians struggled with food insecurity. The report’s numbers do not include those that are facing tougher times in 2008.
Across our state, we hear more frequently about the increased demand at food stamp and WIC offices, social service agencies and emergency food providers. This shows us that growing economic troubles are overwhelming our community’s first responders to hunger. Our community — and the nation — urgently needs a boost in SNAP/Food Stamp benefits in the next stimulus package. It’s been recommended by economists from across the political spectrum — both as a necessary support for low-income people and as the best stimulus expenditure, dollar for dollar.
The need is high, and it is necessary for Congress to respond. We are calling on our members of Congress to provide much-needed support to these struggling families in the next stimulus package. Our communities need this.