U.S. food banks face shortages

Food banks are expected to serve about 4 billion pounds of food to Americans this year. However, many food banks face shortages that are going to force them to reduce the amount of food they are able to give each family.

In 2013, 17.5 million households, or 50 million Americans were food-insecure.

Additionally, 62 percent of all insecure households participated in a federal food assistance program such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Reliance on food banks has doubled in the last decade and saw the heaviest use after the 2008 recession.

Despite the economy improving in recent years, and unemployment dropping, reliance on food banks has increased rather than gone down.

“People who have low-wage jobs, who aren’t receiving regular raises, are finding those earnings stretched thin,” said James Ziliak, who founded the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky.

The majority of the new jobs that have been added under the Obama Administration have been low-wage or part-time.

The problem has been compounded by small increases of worker wages.

In fact, this month saw a report by the U.S. Department of Labor that  showed that salary increases for employees was the lowest on record at just 0.2 percent in the last quarter.

According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief network, 46 million Americans sought food-assistance at least once in 2014.

[The Associated Press]