Combating Hunger this Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving approaches, many people prepare to share a meal with friends and family. But for some, affording food is a serious concern and a sometimes insurmountable challenge.

A recent USDA report shows an increase in the number of Americans experiencing hunger. I am deeply concerned about this increase. USDA’s report indicates that 33 million adults and 17 million children lived in food insecure households in 2009. Food insecurity exists when households could not provide enough food for everyone due to a lack of resources at some point during the year. Both of these numbers are increases from 2008. But these are not just statistics; these numbers reflect the experiences of our friends and neighbors. And we should all be concerned that so many people are experiencing hunger.

While in the Senate, I introduced numerous pieces of legislation to address the issue of hunger in America, including the Paperless Enrollment for School Meals Act, the Summer Food Service Rural Expansion Act, the Emergency Food Assistance Act and the National Child Hunger Relief Act. Many of the anti-hunger provisions for which I advocated are included in the current Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. As your Senator, I will continue to fight for these programs and to fight to end hunger, in the holiday season and all year long.

I ask that you help however possible in the fight against hunger in your community. Ending hunger in America is a goal which requires the work of all Americans. A local food bank can be the difference between a neighbor eating a nutritious dinner tonight or going hungry. More information on local Pennsylvania food banks is available through the Pennsylvania Association of Regional Food Banks.

For more information on or to apply to nutrition assistance programs, I encourage you to visit Compass, a website through which Pennsylvanians can apply for a broad range of social programs. You can also learn about a health and nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) through Pennsylvania’s WIC website.