Rebecca Vallas Profile picture
May 18, 2018 19 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
As of this morning, Republicans are still pushing ahead for a vote on the #GOPFarmBill, which would strip more than 2 million Americans of food assistance.

So it feels like a good time to review some facts about hunger in America.

For many of us, the word “hunger” evokes third-world images of kids with distended bellies. Or maybe the homeless man sitting on the subway grate. But in America in 2018, hunger and food insecurity are an alarmingly widespread experience.

In a recent national survey conducted by @amprog, nearly 40% of Americans report that they or someone in their immediate family faced serious problems with “having too little money to buy food”—just within the past year.…

Meanwhile, a study released yesterday by @UnitedWay finds that nearly half—43%—of U.S. households don’t earn enough to afford basics like food and housing.

13 million, or 1 in 6 U.S. children live in households struggling to afford food. Inadequate nutrition during childhood can have lifelong consequences, hampering healthy physical and cognitive development, kids’ ability to learn, and more.…

5 million U.S. seniors struggle with hunger, forcing many to make impossible choices. According to @FeedingAmerica, 63% of the senior households they serve are forced to choose between buying food and accessing needed medical care.…

As many as 1 in 3 households with a disabled member struggle to afford food. Many are confronted with similar impossible choices, skipping meals so they can afford needed medications, or taking half a pill instead of a whole pill so they can eat.…

Meanwhile, hunger isn’t just a consequence of disability—it’s a cause. As we speak, Victorian diseases associated with malnutrition like scarlet fever & scurvy are making a comeback in the U.K. as hunger has spiked following 8 years of austerity cuts.…

Hunger is widespread on college campuses as well. More than a third—36%—of college students struggle with hunger and food insecurity. (#FF @saragoldrickrab on this)…

While data are limited, studies indicate LGBT individuals face high rates of hunger as well. 2.2 million LGBT adults struggled to afford food within the past year, according to one 2016 study.…

Ensuring that the richest country in the world doesn’t let its people starve was the whole rationale behind the Food Stamp program, today called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The meager assistance SNAP provides amounts to just $1.40 per meal—but it goes a long way towards alleviating hunger. PLUS: by helping people afford adequate nutrition, SNAP improves health and educational outcomes in the long-term.…

The long-term benefits transcend the individual and family level and yield significant societal benefits. For example, access to SNAP is associated with lower health care expenditures.…

What’s driving widespread hunger in the richest country in the world? To be sure, it’s not a lack of resources—but policy choices.

Exhibit A: The tax cuts the GOP gave to the top 1% in their tax law cost more than *THE ENTIRE SNAP PROGRAM.*…

The GOP’s complete unwillingness to raise the poverty-level minimum wage from $7.25/hour is a big part of the story. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would prevent 1.2 million households from going hungry right off the bat.…

Raising the minimum wage would also yield savings in SNAP. Raising the min. wage just to $12 would save $53 billion in SNAP over 10 years by giving families a much-needed raise—nearly twice what the #GOPFarmBill would cut... by making people hungrier.…

Yet in the face of all of these facts—and just months after giving $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans—the GOP is trying to ram through a bill to take food assistance away from more than 2 million Americans (the #GOPFarmBill).

If this isn’t the kind of country you want to live in, there are 2 things you can do:

1. First, call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 & tell them #HandsOffSNAP vote NO on the #GOPFarmBill.



/end (for now)

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More from @rebeccavallas

Sep 12, 2018
Later this morning, @uscensusbureau will release its annual report on poverty for 2017.

We expect a slight downtick in the U.S. poverty rate—which is without question good news.

But if Trump tries to take credit, he deserves to be laughed out of the room.

(Here’s why.)
@uscensusbureau Any good news for struggling workers is thanks to Trump’s FAILURE to impose much of his policy agenda (AKA a how-to guide for massively increasing poverty & hardship):

- dismantling food assistance
- tripling the poorest families’ rents
- stripping jobless workers of Medicaid
@uscensusbureau In fact, analysis by my colleagues @rwest817 & @kfgrobbins found that if just *three* of Trump’s draconian cuts to programs that help families make ends meet had been in place in 2015, 2.3 MILLION more Americans would have been poor.…
Read 7 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Literally right as House & Senate began conference on the #FarmBill this morning, @USDA released a report finding 15 MILLION American households—about 1 in 6—struggled to put food on the table at some point last year.…
Yet House Republicans, led by @ConawayTX11, are STILL pushing for massive cuts to nutrition assistance that would take food away from 2 million Americans.
These are the members of Congress who are deciding whether to maintain food assistance through SNAP—or to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids & families to pay for millionaire & corporate tax cuts👇👇👇 #handsoffSNAP #FarmBill
Read 4 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Wow. Internal documents show Trump’s State Department knowingly lied, ignored warnings from top economic advisers & manipulated data in an attempt to discredit the recent UN report on poverty in America, per @ForeignPolicy.…
The same internal documents also indicate the UN’s report on poverty in America did indeed play a role in motivating the US’s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council earlier this summer.
The same documents show that the State Dept. chose to rely on analysis from the conservative Heritage Foundation OVER THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU—the agency whose job it is to produce and analyze the federal government’s official poverty data—in its effort to whitewash poverty.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
Hi friends!

Today, as we mark the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (#ADA28), let’s do one better.

Let’s stop relegating people with disabilities to a single day in the calendar.

1. One in five Americans are people with disabilities. NEWSFLASH: This makes pretty much every issue a disability issue—from health care to the economy to the environment, to criminal justice, and more.
2. But for too long the notion of “disability policy” has lived in a silo—artificially & counterproductively separate from the fight to end poverty & tackle inequality, to curb climate change, to achieve criminal justice reform, and even the fight for universal health care.
Read 13 tweets
Jul 16, 2018
Move over, climate change.

Trump’s White House just issued a sweeping denial of poverty in America.

1. In a report released late last week, Trump’s WH declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” The report is literally page after page of gaslighting the very real hardship faced by tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford food, housing, healthcare & more.
2. The WH report brazenly denies that homelessness is a meaningful problem in the U.S.—erasing the plight of the over *half a million* Americans without shelter on any given night (which includes 58,000 families with children).
Read 22 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
Feeling all the emotions watching PA @GovernorTomWolf sign the #CleanSlateAct into law just now. Proud to have worked w/my mentor @SDietrich9 to develop the “clean slate” automatic sealing model (now being picked up by other states & Congress!) & @erincohan to get it done in PA.
My head is swirling with thoughts of all of my @CLSphila clients who will be freed from the life sentences to poverty they‘re currently serving once the #CleanSlateAct takes effect. Watching my friend Ronald speak at the signing about what it means to him brought me to tears. :)
Huge thanks to @GovernorTomWolf @RepDelozier @SenTonyWilliams @RepHarris @SenScottWagner for your leadership in making Pennsylvania the first state to adopt clean slate legislation—excited to see Michigan, South Carolina & Colorado already following in PA’s footsteps.
Read 5 tweets

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