The Middle.

contra-costa-food-bank
A report released today by the Food Bank of New York City, and reprinted by the Wall Street Journal, stated a challenge that many people are dealing with at this very moment: they can’t afford to eat.

For the folks who are determined to keep believing that, “those people just aren’t working hard enough,” I’d like to point out that many of the people struggling to eat are actually working hard.

The report cites that, “the number of middle income households experiencing difficulty affording food has tripled: among households with annual incomes between $25,000 and $49,999, difficulty increased from 21 percent in 2003 to 59 percent in 2008 (jumping 40 percent within the past year alone), and among households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $74,999, difficulty increased from 14 percent to 43 percent (jumping 59 percent within the past year alone).”

With job losses and under-employment climbing, we will continue to see people just like us struggle to feed themselves. The report also points out that those most effected by the struggle are  young children, and senior citizens.

I’d like to encourage you to find out if the food bank in your community is struggling. If you can, consider donating. It’s never too late to plan something that could help others.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Middle.

  1. I’m confused as to how anyone earning between 50,000 and 75,000 could possibly be having trouble affording food.

    My first instinct is that these folks are swimming in debt, and close to drowning in it, because of poor financial decisions.

    Then again, it’s also possible that these people just hit a run of bad luck due to the recession. I know of a few innocent bystanders who are close to losing everything due to the recession, and they didn’t do anything irresponsible with their finances.

    Food banks and pantries are wonderful places. I suggest purchasing one or two canned or boxed items every time you go shopping to donate. In fact, some grocery stores have a drop off center where you can dump your donations and they’ll send it to the food pantry for you.

  2. I read your blog posting today and it made me think. It made me want to question both sides of the coin and I think you have a solid point. A lot of Americans are trying to get a job and the economy is failing them. Unfortunately food stamps and welfare is a flawed system and it doesn’t take into consideration the percentage of unemployed or inflation. The last part of your article mentions “we will continue to see people just like us struggle to feed themselves.” That hit close to home… I would like to get in contact with you guys and share some ideas for your blog. You have a lot of potential and I think I can help you maximize it. Email me and let me know if you would like to chat.

    Keep up the good work🙂

    Best,

    Jacob Nojoumi
    http://www.healthyfoodsecrets.com

  3. Renée

    Hi,
    Wasn’t sure how else to contact you, so I guess I’ll just do it through here🙂 Lately this thing has been going on on a lot of blogs called “Cans 4 Comments”. Basically a blogger will ask people to comment on their blog, and for each comment they promise to donate a canned good to a local food bank. I’ve been doing this on my blog recently too. So if you’re interested, please check http://www.thousandsofmiles.wordpress.com And feel free to leave a comment if you want me to donate another can!

    Thanks!

  4. Great idea Renee.
    Also, people should know about Angel Food Ministries in their area.(http://www.angelfoodministries.com/)
    It is a lot of food for a low cost.

  5. This morning I sat in front of the fire and looked through the book Hungry Planet. It was interesting to see the difference in the diets. What I also noticed was the difference in prices. For instance in a little town in China their weekly diet was about $56. US per week but I noticed that their diet had almost 37 # of starches, flours, grains etc. and the local price was $3.89 for that 37# of starches. That price could not be duplicated here in the US. So even though they stated that the cost of the weekly diet was $56. US, it would not be $56. here in the US. A $1.00 a day diet my be different in different countries depending on the costs of basic foods.

  6. bee

    Just want to say that I have been reading this and finding your writing very interesting. I am an American living in Europe and my La Mesa sister sent me a link to your blog. It has been fascinating to read the different statistics about people and food in the US….and frightening. Honestly, I am glad to be here in Sweden!
    Good to have writers like you informing people.

  7. Here is a site that gives the cost and nutrition of foods per serving along with some recipes. If you need recipes for say .15 cents a serving you put that in the space at the bottom of the page and do a search and it will give you some recipes. I suggest you put in .50 cents a serving or higher as it gives all the recipes on down to .05 cents a serving.
    http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/
    Anna

  8. Grace

    you people are lucky you didnt HAVE to do that, most of the time my husband myself and our 2 kids are suck surviving that way because food just costs to much.

  9. I am a stay at home mom to 4 girls whom I homeschool. Our only income is my husbands job. We fall into the 50-75k income bracket and we are not “swimming in debt”. We did have some financial setbacks this year such as hospital bills (just for stitches) and my husbands 2 hour a day commute (thank goodness gas prices are back down!). About 4 or 5 months ago our budget was stretched to the max. We already have very little extras, no cable, we very rarely eat out and we dropped piano lessons for our 3 oldest girls. I started cleaning the dance studio in exchange for tuition so that my girls can continue dancing. All that and we were still struggling and money for food seemed like the only place to pull from. We started eating from our food storage. Our eating habits definitely changed. Then my mom and I struck a deal. My parents live about 4 blocks away. My dad has MS and their household consists of my Grandpa(who has diabetes), my mom and my dad. They were eating out just about every day and I was concerned with their health and nutrition not to mention what they were spending. Now my mom and I go shopping together about 2x a month. She purchases enough food for about 10 meals for my family of 6 and here family of 3. I take the food to my house and prepare healthy meals for both families 4-5 nights a week. It has worked out well for all of us. My parents and Grandpa appreciate the homecooked meals, my dad has actually gained back a few pounds and looks healthy again and we can afford to eat food with fewer ingredients once again. We still by all of our own milk, cereal and snack items as well as fresh fruit when we can afford it. I know I am very blessed to have this unique situation that works for us at this time. And thanks for bringing up the fact that people of various income levels are struggling to feed their families in this economy. I loved your experiment and I love your blog. Thanks.

  10. julie

    I continue to read your blog. My biggest problem is weight. I have dropped 20 pounds and carry only the foods on my person that I like (mini confort foods – mac and cheese packets), campbells chicken noodle soup and fruit cups. This route is adding some cheep processed foods which unintentionally brought down the cost of my grocery bill (along with not going to the store except every 10 days). I am always on the go with my job and and care of elderly parents and several animals. Would like to eat fresh. Your blog helps me slow down and focus on what I am actualy doing.

    I can only speak for my own situation. Exposure to Self reliant parents and low materialism, at an early age. I never knew anything else. My father lived next to poverty at any early age (the Depression). As a young girl. he told me stories, which in retrospect scared me. He never wanted anything for himself. Getting my sister and I through school with good jobs was THE priority. I was lucky, I had 2 parents.

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