Nine Steps to End Childhood Hunger by 2015

We are a wealthy enough country to end child hunger even in bad times. We have programs already in place that are strong enough to build upon. Financing some of these proposals will require tough choices. That is why the current Administration’s leadership will be critical to our success, both to effect the policy changes necessary to achieve the goal and to lead the way for federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits and the private sector.

Create economic growth that provides opportunity for all.

Increase the minimum wage.

Establish a tax systems that helps families thrive.

Improve key supports to help famlies with children meet their basic needs.

Ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Increase access to and participation in the federal nutrition programs.

Expand federal nutrition program eligibility to reach all food insecure children.

Ensure that children have not only enough food but enough nutritious food.

Provide the leadership required to reach the 2015 goal.

One of the best ways is to help people access the food they need through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), what used to be food stamps.

The program has been greatly improved – it’s done through debit cards, it has the lowest rates of mistakes, but the highest level of participation in history. One out of eight Americans are now enrolled. But only two out of three people who could use it are taking advantage of this first line of defense against hunger.

Many seniors are too proud to ask for help, even when it is temporary, and there are many of the “new poor” – families who are recently unemployed and don’t know about the program, or are too embarrassed to ask for help in feeding their families.

There shouldn’t be any stigma in applying for help feeding your family, especially now. President Obama was on food stamps when he was a kid, many of our friends in Hollywood benefited from it as well.

If we discovered that another country was doing this to our children, we would declare war.

‒ Jeff Bridges