Child Hunger Is Exploding In Greece – And 14 Signs That It Is Starting To Happen In America Too

ChildThe world is heading into a horrific economic nightmare, and an inordinate amount of the suffering is going to fall on innocent children.  If you want to get an idea of what America is going to look like in the not too distant future, just check out what is happening in Greece.  At this point, Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Greece has now risen to 27 percent, which is much higher than the peak unemployment rate that the U.S. economy experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  And as you will read about below, child hunger is absolutely exploding in Greece right now.  Some families are literally trying to survive on pasta and ketchup.  But don’t think for a moment that it can’t happen here.  Sadly, the truth is that child hunger is already rising very rapidly in our poverty-stricken cities.  Never before have we had so many Americans unable to take care of themselves.  Food stamp enrollment and child homelessness have soared to brand new all-time records, and there are actually thousands of Americans that are so poor that they live in tunnels underneath our cities.  But for millions of other Americans, the suffering is not quite so dramatic.  Instead, they just watch their hopes and their dreams slowly slip away as they struggle to find a way to make it from month to month.  There are millions of parents that lead lives that are filled with constant stress and anxiety as they try to figure out how to provide the basics for their children.  How do you tell a child that you can’t give them any dinner even though you have been trying as hard as you can?  What many families go through on a regular basis is absolutely heartbreaking.  Unfortunately, more poor families slip through the cracks with each passing day, and these are supposedly times in which we are experiencing an “economic recovery”.  So what are things going to look like when the next major economic downturn strikes?

A recent New York Times article detailed the horrifying child hunger that we are witnessing in Greece right now.  At some schools there are reports of children actually begging for food from their classmates…

As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

“He had eaten almost nothing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup.

Could you imagine that happening to your children or your grandchildren?

Don’t think that it can’t happen.  Just a few years ago the Greek middle class was vibrant and thriving.

And we are starting to see hunger explode in other European countries as well.  For example, in the UK the number of people receiving emergency food rations has increased by 170 percent over the past year.

This is one of the reasons why I get upset when people say that “things are getting better”.  Yes, the stock market has been setting record highs lately, but things are most definitely not getting better.

Even during this false bubble of debt-fueled economic stability that we are enjoying right now, we continue to see hunger and poverty rise dramatically in America.

Since Barack Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 32 million to more than 47 million.

Will we all be on food stamps eventually?

Will we all become dependent on the government for our survival at some point?

According to the Boston Herald, even Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving government welfare benefits…

Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.

State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits.

Isn’t that crazy?

And yes, there are some people out there that are abusing the system.  In fact, the cost of food stamp fraud has risen sharply to approximately $750 million in recent years.

But most of the people on these programs really need the help.  Thanks to our incredibly foolish economic policies, there are not enough good jobs for everyone and there never will be again.  The percentage of Americans that are unable to take care of themselves is going to continue to rise, and the suffering that we are witnessing right now is going to get much, much worse.

Not that things aren’t really, really bad already.  Here are some signs that child hunger in America has already started to explode…

#1 Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity.  In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”

#2 We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

#3 The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.

#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.

#5 It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

#6 The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million.  That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

#7 According to Feeding America, “households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent”.

#8 According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

#9 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#10 Approximately 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.

#12 In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#13 In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#14 According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

For many more facts about the dramatic explosion of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled “21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know“.

Unfortunately, most of the time statistics don’t really tell the whole story.  Numbers alone cannot really communicate the soul-crushing despair that millions of American families are enduring on a daily basis at this point.

How can numbers communicate the pain that a child feels when her grandmother does not eat because there is not enough food for everyone in the family?  But this is what some families in America actually go through because there is not enough money…

Vanyshia tells about the sacrifices her Grandmother makes so that she and her siblings can eat. “Sometimes my Grandma can’t even eat because she has to feed me and my brother and sister. Sometimes I don’t eat as much as I want to because I leave some for my Grandma because I don’t want her to sit there and starve. Sometimes she doesn’t have enough money to buy food, so she has to go to the bank and borrow money. It makes me feel sad. I don’t want her to be hungry. I just feel sad sometimes,” says Vanyshia.

Things can be particularly tough when you are a single parent.  The BBC recently profiled a single mother that is struggling to raise two young children in Iowa…

“We don’t get three meals a day like breakfast, lunch and then dinner,” says Kaylie. “When I feel hungry I feel sad and droopy.”

Kaylie and Tyler live with their mother Barbara, who used to work in a factory. After losing her job, she was entitled to unemployment benefit and food stamps – this comes to $1,480 (£974) a month.

But they were no longer able to afford to live in their house, which along with bills cost $1,326 (£873) a month, leaving little for food or petrol.

Kaylie supplemented their income by collecting cans along the railway track near their old home – earning between two and five cents per can.

For more examples like this one, I encourage everyone to go watch a recent BBC documentary entitled “America’s Poor Kids” that you can see right here.

I wonder why we don’t see more stuff like this on the mainstream news in this country?

Could it be that the mainstream media does not want to admit how bad things have really gotten?

All of this is also a reminder that we need to be generous to those in need.  Times are going to get much, much harder than this, and we are all going to need one another.

So do you have any stories of poverty or child hunger from your area of the country to share?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Child Hunger

20 Facts About Child Hunger And Child Poverty That Will Break Your Heart

Did you know that nearly half of the 44 million Americans that are on food stamps today are children?  Did you know that more than a fifth of all U.S. children are living in poverty and that a fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program?  Did you know that most of the people that starve to death around the globe are children?  In 2011, child hunger and child poverty are major problems in the United States and they are at epidemic levels in many areas of the world.  The facts that are you are about to read are tough to stomach and they are meant to break your heart.  Most of us need to be touched on an emotional level before we will take action.  As I have written about previously, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis.  Unless a miracle happens, there is not going to be nearly enough food for everyone in the world in the future.  We all need to prepare so that we will be able to feed our own families when that time comes and so that we will be able to be generous and share with others in need.

The food stamp program is the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned bread lines.  Today, the number of Americans on food stamps is absolutely exploding.  Despite claims that the economy is “recovering”, the number of Americans relying on food assistance just continues to increase.

Many food retailers have seen food stamp usage soar to unprecedented levels.  Just check out the following quote from a recent article posted on the website of a local Pennsylvania news station….

“The trend started about three years ago and it has increased significantly we have some stores up 40% from last year,” said Scott Karns owner of seven Karns Supermarkets in central PA.

Sadly, a disproportionate number of those on food stamps are children.  Even as you read this article, there are millions of children in the United States that are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

The following are 20 facts about child hunger and child poverty that will break your heart….

#1 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010. In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.

#2 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years.

#3 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

#5 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.

#6 More than 44 million Americans are currently on food stamps.  That is an all-time record and that number is 18 million higher than it was back at the beginning of 2007.

#7 48 percent of the 44 million Americans that are now on food stamps are children.

#8 According to Feeding America’s 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

#9 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

#10 According to Feeding America, 50.2 million Americans lived in “food insecure households” during 2009.

#11 Even with tens of millions of Americans on food stamps there are still large numbers of Americans that go hungry each night. According to the BBC, 15% of all U.S. households experienced a shortage of food at some point during 2009.

#12 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#13 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.

#14 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.  Statistically, there are more children in poor households than in wealthy ones.

#15 Child hunger is a major problem all over the world. Approximately 1 billion people around the world go to bed hungry each night.

#16 A lack of food among pregnant women in developing countries results in one out of every 6 babies being born with a low birth weight.

#17 Approximately 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.

#18 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.

#19 Somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.

#20 Almost 9 million children around the world died before they reached their fifth birthday during 2008.  Approximately a third of all of those deaths were attributed to hunger and malnutrition.

Most Americans have traditionally thought of “hunger” as something that happens over in Africa or Asia, but that is simply not the case anymore.

There are tens of millions of Americans that would be going without enough food if it weren’t for the food stamp program, school meal programs, food pantries, soup kitchens and the kindness of religious organizations.

Sadly, as the price of food continues to rise there are tens of millions more Americans that are on fixed incomes or on limited incomes that are going to be facing food insecurity.

The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.  That is going to rise even higher thanks to all of the new money that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have pumped into the financial system.

Inflation is a hidden tax that is very cruel.  It hits those with limited resources the hardest.

What are most American families going to do someday when a loaf of bread is 10 dollars and a gallon of milk is 20 dollars?

And it is not just the price of food that is going up.

According to consulting firm Milliman Inc., the average American family of four that is covered by health insurance had an average of $19,393 in health care costs last year.

Many Americans (even if they have insurance) are simply avoiding doctors and avoiding hospitals altogether because they can no longer afford them.

Our whole system is breaking down.  As the economy crumbles, frustration and anger are rising.  As I have written about previously, the number of Americans that have “gone wild” seems to be increasing.

The following are a couple more examples of this phenomenon….

*When things start falling apart, people start going crazy.  Just recently, one man stripped naked while riding a New York city subway.  He hurled racial and ethnic slurs at the people around him and physically harassed a couple of people before a cop was able to wrestle him to the ground.

*Another example of this happened in California just a few days ago.  An elderly woman pulled out a gun and held up a pregnant woman outside of a Kohl’s department store in broad daylight on Mother’s Day.  When old women start shoving guns in our faces and demanding our money that should be a sign to all of us that things really are starting to fall to pieces.

Things are starting to get crazy but this is just the beginning.

Someday when the global economy is in shambles and there is a massive global food crisis, what do you think Americans are going to do when they have been without food for 3 or 4 days and their families are crying out for something to eat?

Don’t think that it won’t happen.  The era of endless amounts of cheap food is coming to an end.  There is going to be a massive amount of hunger and poverty in the years to come.

So what do all of you think about this?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!