Hunger in America

July 7, 2017 • Volume 27, Issue 24
Should the government spend more on food aid?
By Tom Price


Demonstrators in New York on May 24, 2017 (Cover: Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
Demonstrators in New York on May 24, 2017, urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to increase the city's food aid to compensate for President Trump's proposed food stamp cuts. Advocates for the poor say the cuts would worsen the nation's hunger problem. Many conservatives say food-aid programs are rife with waste and fraud and need reform. (Cover: Getty Images/Spencer Platt)

More than 40 million Americans need government help to keep from going hungry, and some 6 million households lack adequate food or nutrition at least occasionally. While hunger has abated since the 2007–09 recession, advocates for the poor say the federal government still needs to do much more to provide food aid and access to healthy food for the needy. But many conservatives say food-aid programs are rife with waste and fraud and need major reforms. They want to stiffen work requirements for able-bodied recipients, and some conservatives and liberals argue that food stamps should not be used to buy junk foods lacking in nutritional value. President Trump wants to slash federal spending on food aid and scientific research into nutrition. But some of his budget proposals — described as draconian by critics — face an uphill battle in Congress. Advocates for the poor, meanwhile, are expanding innovative programs that bring healthy foods to low-income areas, and celebrity chefs are joining the fight against hunger.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nutrition and Health
Jul. 07, 2017  Hunger in America
Oct. 30, 2015  Dietary Supplements
Aug. 08, 2014  Global Hunger
Oct. 01, 2010  Preventing Obesity
Apr. 07, 2006  Rising Health Costs
Feb. 10, 2006  Eating Disorders Updated
Sep. 03, 2004  Dietary Supplements
Jan. 31, 2003  Obesity Epidemic
Feb. 23, 2001  Diet and Health
Jan. 15, 1999  Obesity and Health
Sep. 26, 1997  Youth Fitness
Apr. 14, 1995  Dieting and Health
Jul. 08, 1994  Dietary Supplements
Dec. 18, 1992  Eating Disorders
Nov. 06, 1992  Physical Fitness
Jul. 31, 1992  Infant Mortality
Oct. 25, 1991  World Hunger
Mar. 16, 1990  Public-Health Campaigns: Do They Go Too Far?
Apr. 29, 1988  How America Eats
Sep. 06, 1985  Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders
May 18, 1984  Dining in America
Aug. 26, 1983  Staying Healthy
Nov. 19, 1982  Weight Control: A National Obsession
Oct. 17, 1980  Caffeine Controversy
Apr. 14, 1978  Physical Fitness Boom
Jun. 17, 1977  Obesity and Health
Feb. 22, 1974  Heart Research
Aug. 01, 1973  Nutrition in America
Dec. 02, 1970  Infant Health
Nov. 15, 1967  Overweight and Health
Aug. 10, 1966  Dental Health
Jul. 13, 1966  Prolongation of Life
May 09, 1962  Outdoor Recreation
Nov. 26, 1958  Dieting and Health
Jul. 13, 1949  Recreation for Millions
May 13, 1941  Nutrition and National Health
Agricultural Research
Cost of Education and School Funding
Lobbying and Special Interests
Obesity and Weight Control
Party Politics