Poverty In America: 20 Percent Of Americans Struggle To Afford Food

By: Nichole Jaworski
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(CBS Charlotte) — According to a recent Gallup poll, 20 percent of Americans have struggled to put food on the table at some point during the past year.

This is the third time in nearly 70 months that at least 20 percent of Americans have admitted having difficulty purchasing food — and many Americans are rationing food and resorting to only eating one meal per day.

While unemployment continues to decline throughout most of the country, stagnant wages and rising fuel and food costs contribute to the daily struggle of being able to afford food – four years after the end of the “recession.” In 2012, the cost to assist Americans with food purchases was nearly $80 billion — more than twice the amount spent to feed Americans in 2008.

In light of the recent statistics, it would seem logical that the leaders of our country would try to find ways to allocate more money towards programs that are designed to help with food assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but in fact, the opposite is the case.

House Republicans will vote today on a bill that if passed, will slash billions of dollars of funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a program millions of poor Americans rely on in order to be able to purchase food.

(Related Article: Poverty In America: Why It’s Difficult To Climb Out Of Poverty)

Under the proposed bill, states would require people who benefit from the program to have at least 20 hours of employment each week, or to attend a job training program. If passed, the bill ensures that less people will qualify to receive benefits.

Democrats and Republicans have varying views about the proposed bill. The majority of Republicans believe that the measure will restore the safety net and will also cut unnecessary spending, while Democrats believe that the bill punishes Americans who are unable to find work. If the bill makes it past the predominately Democratic Senate, President Obama has already voiced that he will veto the bill.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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