Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity

Crying Girl - Photo by D Sharon PruittIf the economy really is “getting better”, then why are nearly 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity?  In 1854, Henry David Thoreau observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”.  The same could be said of our time.  In America today, most people are quietly scratching and clawing their way from month to month.  Nine of the top ten occupations in the U.S. pay an average wage of less than $35,000 a year, but those that actually are working are better off than the millions upon millions of Americans that can’t find jobs.  The level of employment in this nation has remained fairly level since the end of the last recession, and median household income has gone down for five years in a row.  Meanwhile, our bills just keep going up and the cost of food is starting to rise at a very frightening pace.  Family budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, and more families are falling out of the middle class every single day.  In fact, a new report by Feeding America (which operates the largest network of food banks in the country) says that 49 million Americans are “food insecure” at this point.  Approximately 16 million of them are children.  It is a silent epidemic of hunger that those living in the wealthy areas of the country don’t hear much about.  But it is very real.

The mainstream media and our politicians continue to insist that “things are getting better”, and that may be true for Wall Street, but the man who was in charge of the new Feeding America report says that the level of suffering for the tens of millions of Americans that are food insecure has not changed

Nothing is getting better,” said Craig Gundersen, lead researcher of the report, “Map the Meal Gap 2014,” and an expert in food insecurity and food aid programs.

Let’s stop talking about the end of the Great Recession until we can make sure that we get food insecurity rates down to a more reasonable level,” he added. “We’re still in the throes of the Great Recession, from my perspective.”

In fact, a different report seems to indicate that hunger in America is actually getting worse

Children’s HealthWatch, a network of doctors and public health researchers who collect data on children up to 4 years old, says 29% of the households they track were at risk of hunger last year, compared with 25% the year before.

If someone tries to tell you that “the economy is getting better”, that person is probably living in a wealthy neighborhood.  Because those that live in poor neighborhoods would not describe what is going around them as an “improvement”.

In particular, many minority neighborhoods are really dealing with extremely high levels of food insecurity right now.  The following comes from a recent NBC News article

“Minorities are facing serious hunger issues. Ninety-three percent of counties with a majority African-American population fall within the top 10 percent of food-insecure counties, while 60 percent of majority American Indian counties fall in that category”

But if you don’t live in one of those areas and you don’t know anyone that is facing food insecurity, it can be difficult to grasp just how much people are actually suffering out there right now.

For example, consider the story of a young mother named Tianna Gaines Turner

Tianna Gaines Turner can’t remember the last time she went to bed without worrying about how she was going to feed her three children.

She can’t remember the last time she woke up and wasn’t worried about how she and her husband would make enough in their part-time jobs to buy groceries and pay utilities on their apartment in a working-class section of Philadelphia.

And she can’t remember the last time she felt confident she and her husband wouldn’t have to skip meals so their children could eat.

Have you ever been in a position where you had to skip meals just so that other family members could have something to eat?

I haven’t, so it is hard for me to imagine having to do such a thing.  But there are millions of parents that are faced with these kinds of hard choices every day.

Things can be particularly hard if you are a single parent.  Just consider the story of Jamie Grimes

After Jaime Grimes found out in January that her monthly food stamps would be cut again, this time by $40, the single mother of four broke down into sobs — then she took action.

The former high school teacher made a plan to stretch her family’s meager food stores even further. She used oatmeal and ground beans as filler in meatloaf and tacos. She watered down juice and low-fat milk to make it last longer. And she limited herself to one meal a day so her kids — ages 3, 4, 13, and 16 — would have enough to eat.

I have such admiration for working single mothers.  Many of them work more than one job just so that they can provide for their children.  It can be absolutely frustrating to work as hard as you possibly can and still not have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month.

Those that believe that the economy has gotten “back to normal” just need to look at the number of women that have been forced to turn to government assistance.  As I mentioned the other day, a decade ago the number of American women that had jobs outnumbered the number of American women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of American women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of American women that have jobs.

The truth is that we are nowhere close to where we used to be.  The last major economic downturn permanently damaged the middle class, and now the next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching.

Right now, there are nearly 50 million Americans that are facing food insecurity.  When the next economic crisis strikes, that number is going to go much higher.

There is going to be a great need for love and compassion in this country during the hard times that are coming.  Instead of just cursing the darkness, I hope that you will choose to be a light to those that desperately need it.

Social Decay + Illegal Immigration + Poverty = Open War On The Streets Of America

Open War On The Streets Of America - Photo by Javier RamirezWhat did you think was going to happen?  Moral standards have been falling for decades, we have allowed massive hordes of criminals, gang members and drug dealers to enter this country illegally, and thanks to our declining economy our inner cities are being absolutely ravaged by poverty.  Was such a combination really going to produce peace and prosperity?  Should we be so shocked that we now have open war on the streets of America?  In the United States today, there are millions upon millions of young people that can’t find jobs, that are living in poverty, that have no hope for a better future, and that have been raised without any moral standards.  These young people are becoming increasingly desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.  As I wrote about the other day, for those under the age of 18 living in the city of Detroit the poverty rate is 60 percent.  Should we be surprised that Detroit police are now telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.  At this point, the FBI says that there are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in our cities.  That number has risen by an astounding 40 percent just since 2009.  Did we somehow delude ourselves into thinking that there would not be severe consequences for allowing that to happen?  Today,  Mexican drug cartels are active in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.  Are they selling drugs and committing crimes in the area where you live?  Well, don’t be so shocked.  The federal government has left our border with Mexico wide open for decades even though the most violent drug war on the planet has been raging just across that border.  Stupid decisions produce stupid results.  Sadly, this is just the beginning.  When our economy fully crashes the open warfare on the streets of America is going to get much, much worse.

Let’s take a closer look at what is currently happening in a few of our largest cities…

Los Angeles

Did you know that Latino gangs are systematically pushing black families out of some areas of Los Angeles?

For example, once upon a time Compton was a predominantly African-American area.  But now it is 65 percent Latino, and there is a relentless campaign of intimidation against many of the African-American families that remain.

One of these incidents was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times.  A black family moved into Compton near the end of December, and since that time they have been the victims of endless harassment by Latino gangs.  When a 19-year-old African-American friend came to visit the family one day, four thugs told him that blacks were barred from the neighborhood and they started beating him with metal pipes.  A story in the Los Angeles Times described what happened next…

The 19-year-old family friend managed to break free that first day and run into the house, where the children were the only ones at home.

The attackers left, but a half-hour later a crowd of as many as 20 people stood on the lawn yelling threats and epithets. A beer bottle crashed through the living room window as the youngsters watched in horror.

“They were scared if they called the sheriff they’d be killed,” Westin said. “So they called their mom, who called the Sheriff’s Department.”

The gang members were gone by the time deputies arrived, but they kept coming back, almost daily, driving by slowly until they got someone’s attention, then yelling racial insults and telling them to leave. The mother sent the children to live with relatives and is now packing up to leave herself.

As horrifying as that sounds, the truth is that it is not an isolated incident.

According to the Los Angeles Times, similar attacks “have taken place in Harbor Gateway, Highland Park, Pacoima, San Bernardino, Canoga Park and Wilmington, among other places.”

Oakland

Up the coast in Oakland, a horribly violent gang war has gotten so out of hand that city officials are holding press conferences about it.

Violent crime in the city of Oakland increased by 23 percent in 2012, and police say that gang members were responsible for most of the approximately 2,000 robberies and 65 homicides that took place in the second half of the year.

As the San Francisco Chronicle recently explained, the violence continues to escalate and city officials don’t know how to solve it…

Nearly all the violent crimes in Oakland in the last few months, including two killings over the weekend, have been committed as part of a “war” between rival groups that was sparked by the slaying of a girl last summer, Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday.

Jordan said “about 90 percent” of the killings, robberies, shootings and other “senseless acts of violence” in the city since mid-2012 can be directly tied to the killing of a girlfriend of one of the combatants.

Over time, the warring factions have become increasingly violent and have grown in number, sometimes by merging with other groups, Jordan said at a news conference called in response to an outbreak of gunfire over the weekend.

Chicago

Savage murders happen so regularly in Chicago at this point that very few people are even shocked by the headlines any longer.  The murder rate in the city increased by about 17 percent in 2012, and 2013 has already started with quite a bang.

Just check out what happened on Saturday.  7 people were murdered and six others were left wounded.  The following is how the Chicago Tribune described one of the crime scenes…

On West Van Buren Street, a body could be seen lying in the roadway, near the curb and a bus stop.

A man who only identified himself as the teen victim’s uncle said the boy, whose family lived nearby, had simply gone to run an errand.

“He was just going to the store,” the man said. “They just killed him just like that.”

Later, the man paced back and forth on the sidewalk, shaking his head in disbelief.

So why has Chicago become such a violent city?

It is because of the gangs.

Today, approximately 80 percent of all murders that happen in the city of Chicago are gang-related.  And as I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.

Perhaps Chicago could do more to handle all the crime if they had more money, but at this point they are flat broke and so is the entire state of Illinois.  In fact, the state of Illinois just had its credit rating downgraded once again.

I picked out three examples to discuss above, but similar things could really be said about hundreds of U.S. cities from coast to coast.

Once upon a time, gang activity was fairly limited to certain pockets of the country.  But now, it is more widespread than ever.

According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center,  Mexican drug cartels were actively operating in 50 different U.S. cities in 2006.

By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1,286.

Are you starting to get the picture?

So why doesn’t the federal government secure the border and make sure that everyone that is coming into this country is doing so legally?

That is a very good question.  For some reason, every single president that we have had in recent decades has chosen to leave the U.S. border with Mexico virtually wide open.

And so millions of criminals, gang members, drug dealers and welfare parasites continue to pour into the country.  The following is what one local police chief down in Texas is saying about what he is seeing along the border…

The problem is not going away.

“Most of them have people here or they’re just trying to make it over here so they can start making a better living for themselves,” La Joya Police Chief Julian Gutierrez told Action 4 News.

No matter how many miles of border fence is erected—it seems nothing will stop the thousands of immigrants, crossing our border illegally, from continuing their journey.

“A lot of times we talk to them and ask them why they’re coming here,” Gutierrez explained. “They say they’re coming for the ‘American Dream.’ I always tell them that they’re here illegally—how do they expect to find work? They always say it’s a lot better than their country.”

So what is the Obama administration doing about this?

They don’t consider it to be a problem.

In fact, one of our stations along the border with Mexico will no longer be manned with real people at all.  The following is from a recent ABC News report

Get ready for the very first “unmanned” border station on the U.S.-Mexico border. Slated to open at the end of this month, the Big Bend National Park in Texas will be staffed by, you guessed it, computers.

But what the Obama administration does seem to be concerned about is giving immigrants lots of “benefits” once they get here.

For example, did you know that the federal government actually has a website that teaches immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States?

Meanwhile, we can’t even come close to taking care of our own citizens.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 146 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

Poverty is absolutely exploding in this country, and the middle class gets smaller with each passing day.  When the next major economic downturn strikes, the unemployment numbers are going to start spiking again and millions of families are going to lose all hope that things will ever turn around for them.

Meanwhile, the very foundations of our society continue to rot and decay right in front of our eyes.  At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the U.S. lives in a home without a father.  The U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world, the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the world, and there are 19 million new STD infections in the United States every single year.

Our nation is a complete and total mess, and many of our major cities are being transformed into gang-infested war zones that are on the verge of total meltdown.

Is it any wonder that millions of American families have chosen to become preppers?

Nothing is going to stop the societal meltdown that is coming.  That is especially true with Barack Obama running things.

Sadly, most Americans still have their heads in the sand and are pretending that everything will be okay somehow.

Sadly, most Americans still have a tremendous amount of faith in the system.

But anyone with a brain should be able to see the storm clouds that are coming.

So get prepared while you still can.

Time is running out.

1.4 Millions Gang Members And More Pour Into The United States Every Single Day

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