Are Children Going Hungry in America?

BBC Reporter, Duncan Walker, reports child poverty in the United States of America has reached “record levels.” Walker reports that nearly 17 million children are now affected in America and that number is growing on a daily basis.

Walker interviews the Haywood family: Kaylie, 10 years old, Tyler, 12 years old, and their mother, Barbara. The family lives in Iowa where Barbara used to work in a factory before becoming unemployed. The family attempts to survive off of unemployment benefits and food stamps totaling $1,480 a month. Both Kaylie and Tyler have tried helping their mother to supplement the family’s income; Kaylie collected cans along the railroad track near their old home, and Tyler mowed lawns.

After loosing their home, the family now lives in a motel where their only source of refrigeration is a sink full of ice. Walker follows the family to a food bank in Stockton, Iowa where Kaylie and Tyler are arguing with their mother over the fifteen items they are allotted. Kaylie would like ground beef, but she is denied since their motel room offers no place to cook the meat. Apple sauce makes the list as a “yes.” Canned vegetables, canned spaghetti, canned meatballs, and canned ravioli make it to the maybe section.

Kaylie tells Walker, ‘“We don’t get three meals a day like breakfast, lunch, and then dinner.”’ Kaylie continues to describe, ‘“When I feel hungry I feel sad and droopy.”’ Walker talks about how Kaylie wants a decent education so she does not go hungry in the future. Kaylie further describes to Walker how clothing, costing two dollars at the Salvation Army, is ‘“too much.”’ One of the family’s dog, Nala, was given to the a shelter to decrease living expenses.

The Haywood family, Walker reports, is among the 47 million Americans who depend upon food banks to increase their chances of survival. In addition, 1 in 5 children receive food aid in the US, and nearly 17 million American children reside in homes where buying “enough healthy food is not something they can count on.”

Tyler describes to Walker how the family sometimes has “good days” and sometimes has “bad days.” Tyler tells Walker, ‘“Sometimes we don’t have cereal and we have milk. Sometimes when there’s a cooking show on I get a little more hungry – I want to vanish into the screen and start eating the food.”’

My question for the American government: Any Comments?

** Written By Audrey Haven – SJS Staff Writer **


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