By MARC McDONALD
Feeding America, a non-profit food bank network group, reports that hunger is "increasing at an alarming rate in the United States."
Despite this, a recent review by The Associated Press found that dozens of food-stamp programs in 39 states left at least a quarter of applicants waiting weeks or months for food aid.
America is currently in the grip of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. With millions of ongoing job layoffs and a high jobless rate, it shouldn't be surprising that many American families are now finding it increasing difficult to afford even the basics, including food.
The cost of the U.S. food stamp program runs around $50 billion a year. That may sound like a lot, until you consider that it is nickel-dime chump change, compared with other government programs that primarily benefit the wealthy.
Take for example, Bush's bailout of the corrupt gangsters on Wall Street. That welfare-for-the-rich program is set to cost the U.S. taxpayers a cool $1 trillion.
Of course, even that pales in significance compared to the $3 trillion that the U.S. is flushing down the toilet in the fiasco known as the Iraq War (and the ever-growing costs of the fiasco known as the Afghanistan War).
For the same amount the U.S. spends in a few months in Iraq, we could fully fund the U.S. food stamp program for one year and ensure that no children go to bed hungry.
But then again, crony corporate pigs like Halliburton and Blackwater might then have to suffer a slight decrease in the billions they've reaped in closed, no-bid contracts in Iraq.
So while the Top One Percent of rich Americans continue to gorge themselves with a generous helping of our tax dollars, ordinary citizens continue to struggle as the U.S. economic crisis continues.
AP notes that currently, a record 40 million people (one in eight Americans) now rely on food stamps.
"The number of participating households increased by one-fifth in fiscal 2009, and many states' food-stamp rolls grew by a third or more" AP reported.
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