REP. ANDREWS CONTINUES TO COMBAT HUNGER IN THE U.S.
On May 15, 2005, at a Mazon, Jewish Response to Hunger meeting, I announced that I will join a House caucus on the growing hunger crisis in America. While we made great strides during the twentieth century in the production and distribution of food, hunger in the United States has grown an estimated fifty percent since 1985. Most alarmingly, of those who are unable to meet their basic nutritional needs, twelve million are children. Hunger affects children most dramatically and can hamper learning and development. Such neglect is heartbreaking.
I have worked within Congress to address this problem. The Committee on Education and the Workforce, of which I am a member, has repeatedly strengthened the Child Nutrition Improvement and Integrity Act, which allowed $16 million for a variety of programs aimed at addressing hungry children and families. We have also expanded the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food program, the After-School Snack program, and the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children. These efforts represent a positive step and have helped millions of families but we must do more to lessen this often ignored plight. We must reevaluate our country's economic priorities. While the recent tax cuts put money back in the wallets of those who need it the least, some hard working parents can't afford food for their children. The physical, physiological, and social effects of hunger have devastating consequences for all us. I look forward to working with my colleagues in a hunger caucus to focus on this moral imperative.