My First Week at Feeding America: What I've Learned

December 4, 2012
by Feeding America

It's only been about a week since I loaded up my car in Minneapolis and moved more than 400 miles south to begin working at Feeding America in Chicago. Now that I've made it here, I couldn't be happier. I'm learning so much about poverty and hunger in America, and what I've learned has definitely taken my passion for Feeding America's mission to new levels.

Before coming to Feeding America, I understood vaguely the problem of hunger in America. I've quickly learned, however, the problem is much bigger than I ever imagined. One in five children living in the U.S. struggles with hunger. In a country of such abundance, I find this unbelievable and unacceptable. I am greatly encouraged though, by the work Feeding America is doing to eliminate this unfortunate reality.

As a charitable organization, Feeding America is really filling a critical role in the fight against hunger. I had no idea how important charities really were in eliminating this issue. I've discovered that although U.S. government programs provide food for people in need, not everyone in need always qualifies.

For example, the government provides SNAP benefits to households making up to 130 percent above the poverty line. For a family of four, the poverty line lies at $22,050 a year. Multiplied by 130 percent, that's an annual income of $28,665. A family making slightly above that won't get SNAP assistance, even if they obviously aren't making enough to get by.

That's where Feeding America comes in, and why its services are so important. It can provide when other programs cannot. Anyone struggling with hunger can find relief at their local, Feeding America-supported food bank.

I am very excited to be a part of an organization making such a large difference in the lives of so many. I cannot wait to learn more, and do my part to help Feeding America eliminate a truly solvable problem—the problem of hunger.

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