We are here to report some breaking news that may come as a shock: Giving people money for food means they can buy food and therefore cannot go hungry. Please take the time it takes to go through this revelation.
According to census data, initiatives to improve access to SN services and stimulus payments have reduced the hunger rate among adults from 11 percent in March to around eight percent, the lowest level since the pandemic began. “Money helps,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, economist and director of the Political Research Institute at Northwestern University. said Politico. I’m not an economist, but I’ll give my two cents too: no shit!
The pandemic has created unprecedented food insecurity as people lost their jobs or fell ill. Food banks, community fridges, and other mutual aid efforts helped, but quickly became overwhelmed. In DecemberAn estimated 12 percent of Americans said they hadn’t had enough to eat in the past week. And according to a recent report by Feeding America“After the pandemic, there are still significant racial disparities in food insecurity that existed before COVID-19. Feeding America estimates that 21% of blacks (1 in 5) could be food insecure in 2021, compared with 11% of whites (1 in 9). “
But yes, money helps. Last summer, Census data showed 80 percent of the households surveyed gave their first stimulus checks for food. And the latest numbers show an 18 percent decrease in household adults who either sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the two weeks after the stimulus checks ended in mid-March. These were part of Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion American rescue plan, which also expanded SN benefits and unemployment benefits. Taken together with the $ 900 billion aid package in December, it’s an unprecedented (if not enough) amount of money being spent directly on people.
Agriculture Minister Tom Vilsack recently praised the dramatic decline in hunger rates and said the government should “learn the lessons of this terrible crisis and see how it can be made more lasting”. For example, some proponents are fighting to make free school lunches, made widely available through federal waivers, permanent.
It seems pretty obvious that everyone has access to the most basic necessities of life on a planet where there is enough food for everyone. But of course the opposition insists that it must be a matter of “earning” to support oneself and one’s family, and that some people simply don’t earn food. It’s remarkably cruel, and as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic and beyond, poverty and hunger have little to do with how hard someone works.