You'll Be Glad You Did!
November 1st, 2023
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) report released October 25, 2023, reveals hunger in America soared in 2022 after falling the previous year due to COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.
The data underscore how the unwinding of critical pandemic interventions and rising costs have taken a toll on families, particularly households with children and households of color, and also mirror the significant rise in poverty in 2022, the root cause of hunger.
The report found that 44.2 million people lived in households that struggled with hunger in 2022, an increase of 10.3 million compared to last year’s report on food insecurity rates.
Key findings from the ERS report:
- 1 in 8 households in America struggled with hunger in 2022.
- 13.4 million children lived in households that experienced food insecurity, up 44.6 percent from 2021.
- 33.1 percent of single-parent households headed by women experienced food insecurity.
- Rates of food insecurity were higher for Black (22.4 percent) and Latinx (20.8 percent) households, both double the rate of White non-Latinx households.
- 32 percent of households with reported incomes below 185 percent of the poverty threshold experienced food insecurity in 2022.
There is no excuse for anyone in this country to go hungry when solutions exist.
--Statement attributed to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
UCOM’s emphasis on dignified access to nutritious food through the Healthy Choice Food Pantry, the Farm Stand, and community and backyard gardens is more important now than ever before.
Last month alone UCOM provided access to good food for 2,000 people in Wyoming, Grandville, and Southwest Grand Rapids. The need for nutritious food is only going to increase as costs of living continue to rise while wages stay the same.
Most of the people who participate in UCOM programs are working people with families who are food insecure—sometimes literally hungry and even unhoused. While we advocate for government entities to provide more support for people in these situations, professional politicians keep a tight hold on the purse strings. We—all of us—must do what we can NOW to provide for the immediate needs of individuals and families who require our help today. Even the most resilient people can only be stretched so far before they break under the strain.
Be assured that you are making a difference in thousands of lives by giving what you can to organizations like UCOM that include everyone who comes to our doors. This is my plea. Read the statistics again. Visit UCOM and meet some of the people we walk alongside. Volunteer in whatever capacity you can. Give of your finances to make our community a healthier, happier place. I guarantee you will be glad you did.
Have a blessed time of giving thanks and honor Indigenous People's Day every day.