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Social Problem: Hunger in the United States Essay

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Updated: Sep 16th, 2022

“Food insecurity” is the uncertainty that a person could buy food in the near future (Galer-Unti, 2019).

Factors that perpetuated the problem are:

  • the income gap,
  • race discrimination,
  • poverty in rural areas
  • the COVID outbreak

Income Gap

Income inequality: the country’s wealthy and multinationals obtain the benefits of economic growth.

The largest share of revenue in all economic segments (except for the 1% of wealthy citizens): labor income.

Other factors are:

  • the high cost of nutritious food
  • the low financial sufficiency
  • the most inexpensive healthy diet costs five times more than eating fast-food (Galer-Unti, 2019)

The most expensive food groups:

  • dairy products
  • fruits and vegetables
  • high protein foods

Race

In 2016, in three thousand counties, African Americans made up the majority of the population.

96% of these territories had a high level of food insecurity and poverty (Galer-Unti, 2019).

In 2020, the food shortage crisis reached

  • 36% of African American households
  • 32% of Hispanic households (Feeding America, 2020)

Location

The highest rates of food insecurity

  • Mississippi 33.5%
  • Alabama 27%

Food deserts: residents live more than one mile (urban areas) or ten miles (rural regions) from a grocery store.

20% of the population of Dallas and Tarrant.

Covid Outcomes

Before coronavirus outbreak

35 million Americans (11 million children) experienced food security problems (Trends in U.S. food security, 2020).

In 2020

numbers reached 54 million (18 million children).

Unemployment rates : 2.4% rise in poverty (Schanzenbach & Pitts, 2020)20 million people without a job Many U.S. states such as California, Nevada, Maryland, Pennsylvania imposed restrictions to restrain the pandemic’s wave.

Solutions: History

Types of poverty alleviation measures:

  • “Community action” programs run by local authorities
  • Special assistance programs for rural areas and small businesses
  • Soft loans to farmers and agricultural workers (Galer-Unti, 2019).
  • The 1960s – the War on Poverty
  • 36.4 million poor people (20% of the country’s population) in 1964.

Community action programs (CAPs) aimed to increase the effectiveness and better coordination of various programs to help the poor (Galer-Unti, 2019)

The term “food insecurity” came into widespread use after the 2008 economic crisis.

Actual Solutions

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

Federal food assistance programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

4.2 billion free meals in 2020 (up 50% from last year) (Feeding America, 2020)

Solutions:

  • Healthy products price lowering
  • Reducing expenses at the stages of production, storage, transportation, distribution, and marketing of food products
  • Additional measures:
  • local small-scale farmers support
  • Food advertising
  • promotion of healthy lifestyles

Conclusion

There is no significant increase in the population’s well-being.

Racial discrimination, income gap, outcomes of the economic crisis of 2008, COVID-19 outbreak has a considerable impact on the problem.

The methods for resolving the situation should be comprehensive and affect economic, political, and socio-cultural aspects.

References

Feeding America. (2020). Web.

(2020). United States Department of Agriculture. Web.

Galer-Unti, R. (2019). Hunger and food assistance policy in the United States. Routledge.

Schanzenbach, D., & Pitts, A. (2020). Institute for Policy Research Rapid Research Report. Web.

Trends in U.S. food security. (2020). United States Department of Agriculture. Web.

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