Nearly one fifth of children in the U.S. lack access to sufficient nutritious food to live a healthy life and 4.5 million (one in 12) older adults experience food insecurity. A new report by Generations United finds this fact has a huge impact on the lives of millions of other Americans who make sacrifices in order to provide food for family members and friends at risk of going hungry.
In the past year, nearly one-third of adults have either gone hungry or been concerned about food insecurity among family, friends or neighbors, according to the survey Hunger and Nutrition: Whats at Stake for Children, Families & Older Adults commissioned by Generations United, released today at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. One-in-10 adults went without a basic need, such as food or medicine, to feed another family member.
“This is not about numbers, this is about real human beings,” said Connecticut Rep. Rosa Delauro (D), who spoke at the event. Delauro raised the specter of the so-called Fiscal Cliff as a significant threat to federally funded food and nutrition programs as Congress negotiates a deficit-cutting package with the White House.
The report offers recommendations for ways the private and public sector can work together to address the needs of people of all ages who face food insecurity.
“People should never have to choose between such basic needs, nor should they have to worry that someone close to them lacks access to nutritious foods,” said James Taylor, president of Sodexo, Inc.’s Senior Living Division and a member of Generations United’s Board of Directors. ”We’re a large and prosperous country and we must address this issue head on.”
Other speakers, including Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern (D), called for more national leadership from the White House on advancing efforts to end hunger.
“America is the richest and most prosperous nation in the world and there is no excuse for having a single person go hungry,” McGovern said.
Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts said it is critical we take an intergenerational approach to ending hunger and the report features examples of such programs.
“Hunger knows no age limits, and its eradication will require people of all ages working together to find solutions,” Butts said.
To read the full report and executive summary visit www.GU.org.
(Written on iPad, please excuse typos!)