Why Is There Hunger in America?

A big part of food insecurity relates to the uncertainties of daily life. People go hungry because of unexpected events, such as paying for an emergency visit to the hospital, a car repair, or the loss of a job. So you can be just above the poverty line, and any one of those circumstances can push you into poverty.

When a family is living that close to the edge, the bottom line is that cuts will be made in the consumption of food. Food is purchased with cash. If you don’t have a credit card, then you have to pay cash for food. The majority of people don’t have a monthly charge account at the local grocery store.

There also are problems of access and distribution. Good, healthy, fresh food is expensive, especially if you work at a minimum wage job. Remember, the national minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour; that’s $14,500 a year for a fulltime job.

Credit: Nikki Valentine, NPR