U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) -- a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus -- today joined his fellow co-chairs in encouraging members of the Senate to dedicate one hour during the holiday season to raising awareness and recognizing efforts underway in their states to combat hunger. The Hour for Hunger initiative seeks to remind members that hunger knows no boundaries and when working together, this is a fight we can win. Co-chairs of the bipartisan Hunger Caucus include: Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).
"Hunger in America is not something we can ignore. Nearly 15% of households have trouble keeping food on their tables, and 46 million Americans--including 1 in 7 Illinoisans--rely on essential food assistance programs," said Durbin. "By participating in the Hour for Hunger, we can help raise awareness of this important problem. I encourage Illinoisans--and every American that has the means-- to lend a hand by volunteering their time this holiday season. I will continue working in Congress to make sure that eliminating hunger within our borders remains a national priority."
Durbin and the Senate Hunger Caucus co-chairs were joined today by two House Hunger Caucus co-chairs, U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA) and JoAnne Emerson (R-MO). According to recent studies, for one in six Americans, hunger is a reality and many of those suffering from food insecurities are children. During the Hour for Hunger initiative, Hunger Caucus co-chairs are sending information to members about programs, types of visits and activities, and other actions that members can do to raise awareness and learn more about the face of hunger in America.
"While food drives are popular during the holiday season, it is important to remember that hunger knows no season," said Sen. Lugar. "Indiana Food Banks make a difference in the lives of many Hoosiers all year long, and they depend on contributions from generous citizens to meet the needs of communities throughout our state."
"The current economic climate has made it more difficult for many families in Pennsylvania to afford nutritious food," Sen. Casey said. "Raising awareness is the first step to combatting the devastating effects of hunger and food insecurity across our Commonwealth and the nation."
"More often than ever we are seeing families that used to make deposits at the food bank being forced to make a withdrawal. This is true all across America." Sen. Boozman said. "By committing one hour of their time during the holidays, Members of Congress can help raise awareness and put an end to hunger in their communities."
"Hunger isn't a seasonal condition for more than 680,000 Ohioans who are food insecure -- it's a daily struggle that demands close attention and constant action," Sen. Brown said. "We must continue to make time to address new ways to improve access to healthy, nutritious foods and other resources needed urgently by our fellow citizens."
"In Kansas and across the country, committed organizations and caring individuals work to help hungry Americans," said Sen. Moran. "The holidays are an appropriate time to recognize their efforts and redouble our own commitment to ending hunger."
"Hunger in America never takes a day off," Rep. McGovern said. "It's especially important during this holiday season that we remind ourselves that too many of our neighbors struggle to put enough food on the table. I hope that all members will take the time to participate in this bipartisan effort."
"Especially during the holidays, when we reflect on all of the blessings in our lives, it is appropriate to take time out to be mindful of less-fortunate Americans who suffer from hunger. This time of year is also empowering to Americans who want to help. When we contribute even a small portion of our time and talent to fight hunger, it makes a great difference in the lives of others who don't have enough to eat," Rep. Emerson said.