Apr 10, 2006
A recent survey among low-income adults showed that as many as one million people in Los Angeles County often can’t afford to put food on the table. That’s about one in ten county residents.
The study, conducted by UCLA and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, designated these residents as “food insecure,” meaning that these are people who have to choose between food and other expenses, such as rent or medicine. And about one-fourth of them were described as “food insecure with hunger,” a fancy way of saying they regularly go hungry.
The majority of the hungry are not homeless – three out of four live in a house, apartment or mobile home. And many of them – about one in three – have jobs.
These numbers hold at the level of the country as well. In 2004, 35 million people had to choose between buying food and other necessities. And 12 million regularly went hungry.
Why do so many people go hungry, including people who have jobs?
Obviously there is enormous wealth in this country, wealth created by the labor of working people. But year after year the bosses take a bigger and bigger chunk of this wealth for themselves, by laying workers off and cutting wages and benefits. The federal, state and local governments also help the bosses out through subsidies and tax cuts, while cutting welfare and other social programs – when more workers actually need them.
Times have never been better for the wealthy – exactly because they are able to take food out of the mouths of more and more workers and their children.