Find the Political Will to Fight Hunger (NYT Letter to the Editor)
This letter originally appeared in The New York Times on August 15, 2022.
To the Editor:
Re “More Americans Are Going Hungry” (Business, Aug. 8):
It’s all too clear that inflation is squeezing support for the nation’s food banks, even as more Americans struggle with hunger. It’s just as clear that food banks cannot meet the actual needs of those who are food insecure.
Our nation’s leaders must find the political will to pursue robustly funded policies that have that capacity while also addressing the root causes of hunger.
During the pandemic, Congress increased nutrition assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to stave off deepening hunger. Our leaders certainly understand how to meet this crisis if they so choose.
Congress will soon turn to reauthorizing our nation’s food programs under the farm bill. It’s a critical opportunity to advance meaningful policies that tackle food insecurity, particularly in the face of inflation.
We must institutionalize comprehensive and thoughtful policies to ensure a strong safety net for people who fall into hardship. This will halt the cycle of reactive, costly interventions and ease pressures on an overwhelmed charitable system.
Abby J. Leibman