Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress let poor children go hungry?

Number of low-income infants, children under age 5, and pregnant and breastfeeding women who get assistance each month from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC: 9 million

Percent of those receiving WIC benefits who are infants and children: 77

Percent of the U.S. poverty line that applicants' gross income must fall at or below in order to be eligible for WIC assistance: 185

Annual income that represents for a family of four: $41,348

Number of eligible women and children who would be turned away from the non-entitlement program next year due to funding cuts in the House appropriations bill passed in June: more than 700,000

Number of eligible women and children who would be turned away from the program in the 13 Southern states*: 250,800

Date on which Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), chair of the House
Appropriations Committee's agricultural subcommittee, defended the cuts
as a way to make the government more efficient: 5/24/2011

WIC funding cut approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month: $152 million

Percent by which the Senate funding level estimated that WIC food costs would grow next year: 2

If WIC food costs remain at the level reported in June for the remainder of this fiscal year and through the next, with no further food price inflation, percent by which WIC food costs would actually grow next year: 3.8

Under that scenario, additional funding the program would need to avoid turning away anyone in need: $42 million

In 2010, percent of U.S. households that experienced food insecurity, meaning they did not always have access to enough food for all household members: 14.5

Number of people that represents: 48.8 million

Percent of households with children headed by a single woman who experienced food insecurity: 35.1

Of the 13 Southern states, number where food insecurity was above the U.S. average between 2008 and 2010: 7**

Percentage of households that experienced food insecurity during that period in Mississippi, the state with the highest rate: 19.4

* AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA and WV
** AL, AR, FL, GA, MS, NC and TX

(Click on figure to go to source. Map from the USDA's Economic Research Service website.)

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re: INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress let poor children go hungry?

Yes, Congress will let children go hungry. They are so out of touch with the public they don't have the slightest idea of what is going on. The sad thing is that there are so many who do not need to be on "food stamps" but they don't know any different and it is normal for them to get food stamps and not work, as it has happened generation to generation since President Johnson. I believe Americans should accept that we are stuck with paying for the raising of many American children as it appears nothing is going to change. My question is how a citizen of Puerto Rico who is in America looking for a job get food stamps?