According to a new study from the nonprofit Hunger Free America, 137,000 people in the state will live in food-insecure households from 2020 to 2022, including 14.7% of children and 14.7% of employed adults. 8.3% and 4.4% of elderly people.
The study is consistent with trends seen by the Hawaii Food Bank, one of seven community-based Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach providers in the state.
The nonprofit served an average of 140,000 people a month over the past two months, compared to an average of 120,000 a month earlier this year.
A Hunger Free America study found that hunger is a serious problem across the country, and found that the rise in food insecurity is due to increases in many federal benefits, such as the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, and other It is expected to end as the cost of living rises.
“Effective federal public policy over the past several years has been spectacularly successful in stemming hunger in the United States,” Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, said in a news release. Hunger has soared again as many of the country’s policies have been reversed.”
“Just as no one should be surprised if water is taken away and droughts increase, no one should be surprised if hunger increases when governments take away food and the money to buy food,” Berg said. added.
Hawaii Food Bank CEO and President Amy Marvin said the end of these federal programs, coupled with rising food prices and other factors, could explain the persistence of food insecurity in the state. Ta.
The need for hunger relief in Hawaii peaked during the coronavirus pandemic, with the Hawaii Food Bank serving approximately 175,000 people each month.
Hunger Free America’s study also collected data on nonparticipation rates in federally funded hunger relief programs.
The study found that in 2018, 27% of SNAP recipients did not receive benefits, and in 2021, 44% of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) recipients received no benefits. I was not receiving benefits.
Furthermore, 70% of children who received school lunch in the 2021-2022 school year did not receive school breakfast.
This year’s Congress also made moves to combat food insecurity, including legislation to provide universal lunch to all public school students and matching funding for food programs like SNAP and DA BUX. It is a program that gives SNAP recipients a 50% discount. Agricultural products from Hawaii. Both bills died during the session.
Berg said the report “should serve as a shocking wake-up call to federal, state and local leaders.”
“Our political leaders must act to raise wages and provide a strong safety net, so we can finally end hunger in America and provide benefits for all Americans,” Berg said in a press release. “We can ensure that people have access to adequate and healthy food.”