Food deserts on the outskirts and out of county lines are communities that don’t get corporations to come to their towns, so to get fresh produce it has to be home grown.
Many impoverished families travel on bus with multiple transfers to get to a grocery store with fresh produce but find it very difficult on a shoe string budget to actually afford the healthy food items. Not to mention you only have so much you can carry in your own arms while traveling by bus. Food stamp eligibility is based on total household income. To qualify, the income for a family of 3 cannot exceed $24,000 per year. Food stamps usually last for only 3 weeks of the month.
In the documentary “Fed Up” James McGovern a US Rep. Massachusetts Co-Chair, Congressional Hunger Center, went on a one-week food stamp diet. He said, “He hated it!” Average benefit is $3 a day and it took him a long time to figure out what to buy. He realized how impossible it is for these families every single day.
Nutritional deprivation can have a life long consequence on cognitive development and social skills. These along with even common sickness can truncate childhood development. It affects their brain.
Actor and humanitarian Jeff Bridges – End Hunger Network – founded 1983 is the producer of “Fed Up”. A film worth watching. Perhaps you will find this as alarming as I did where he states
- Reagan – 20 Million hungry
- Bush Sr. – 30 Million hungry
- Clinton – 33 Million hungry
- Bush Jr. – 49 Million hungry
- Obama – 50 Million hungry
THE U.S. ranks worst among the IMF’s Advanced Economy countries of Food Insecurity (19th). There are 40 Million Americans on food stamps
And 1 out of every two will be on some kind of food assistance before they are adults. Couple that with welfare office visits costing you a day of work and it is extremely stressful set of circumstances.