Over the past year we have reported on how churches and food banks across the United States are stretched thin trying to meet the needs of Americans seeking help with basic food necessities as the recession drags on.
A report released Tuesday by Feeding America, a national organization which helps supply many local food warehouses and banks, indicates the problem is worsening.
The study concluded that 5.7 million Americans currently receive food aid from a distributor supplied by the non-profit organization. This is a significant 27 percent jump from 2006, the last time the survey titled “Hunger in America” was published.
Many of the households receiving assistance also reported that choices between paying for food and fuel and paying the mortgage or paying for prescriptions have become increasingly commonplace.
The well-deserved focus on the need to help earthquake victims in Haiti has shifted attention away, to some degree, from serious domestic problems millions of Americans are facing including hunger. By no means am I suggesting that ignoring Haiti relief efforts is called for. As a matter of fact, Detroit area churches were celebrated for collecting an overwhelming number of supplies for Haitian relief in the state with the worst unemployment figures in the country.
What are needed are vigilance and a consistent effort on the part of donors, whether with actual food or money, to keep helping local efforts to supply neighbors and friends what they need to help support their families.