Friday, February 14, 2014
Hunger and Homelessness in America is on the Rise
It's hard to image hunger and homelessness in America, the land of opportunity. But the truth is that the need for food and a place to live is rising in many cities across the U.S.
Lack of food
In a recent survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the need for food assistance increased in 83 percent of the cities surveyed. Larger cities such as Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are missing the amount of food needed by low-income families by as much as 36 percent. Cities such as Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, DeMoines, Nashville and Philadelphia also report substantial increases in the need for food assistance in their cities.
More than half of the cities surveyed reported increases in the amount of homeless individuals and families. Los Angeles had the largest increase at 26 percent. Substantial increases were also reported by Boston and Dallas.
These increases in basic needs for low-income families have been fueled by unemployment, lack of affordable housing, and cuts in government programs. In addition, the strain is also being felt by local food banks and soup kitchens who are not getting enough donations to serve all those in need. As Tom Cochran, USCM's executive director explains, “We are very concerned that before budget cuts take place, the mindset of Washington does not understand our neighborhoods and cities – large and small – across America.”
This is not good news for America's needy.