News / USA

US Recession Leads to Big Increase in Number of Hungry Families

The economic downturn in the United States has increased the number of hungry families across the country. The government says the rate of hunger in the United States is the highest level since 1995 with 15 percent of American households lacking access to adequate food.  A record one in eight Americans relies on government food stamps.

At the MANNA Food Center outside Washington, workers prepare boxes for the growing number of people who come here to get free food. It's part of the daily routine. Despite signs that the U.S. economy is recovering, the people who run this food bank say they don't see it.

"I can tell you the lines here are longer than ever before," says Kim Damion, director of development at Manna. She says in the last year the center has given away nearly 1.6 million kilos of food, feeding more than 4,000 families a week.



"The number of families that have previously been living in a middle class environment and now victims of the current recession we are experiencing," Damion says. "These, maybe, families were a primary breadwinner has lost a job and they may be out of work for a period of time because the jobs have not come back."

Over the last two years this food bank has seen a 45 percent increase in the number of people coming here. One man says he has been out of work for a year.

"The choice is I have to eat first. The bills are going to keep coming when you are sick," he notes. "You got to keep up with your health but thanks to the MANNA Food Center I am not going hungry or anything and I have been doing this [coming to the food bank] for almost a year."

Workers box food items at the MANNA food center in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Workers box food items at the MANNA food center in Gaithersburg, Maryland

There's also a family inside. They make weekly visits to the food bank to stock up on bread and other items.

"Sometimes you are running out of food. We have four people in my family and it helps a lot," a woman explains.

Stan Dyson says he has been out of work for three years.

"It gives me extra strength you know so I can stay out during most of the day to look for a full time job or something," he says.

Besides feeding families, Kim Damion says MANNA helps one in three school children in Montgomery county at risk of hunger . The center also distributes food to children for when they are not in school for meals on Saturdays and Sundays.

"The program has grown dramatically. We are now providing 1,400 children a week with a backpack of food," she says.

Damion says with the demand for food assistance high, the center is looking to grocery stores and  others in the business community to donate more food so the center doesn't have to turn anyone away.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid