Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

The best anti-hunger news of 2019 so far …

Monday, February 04, 2019


… was in the January’s jobs data released this past weekend, reporting that employers added another 304,000 jobs for the 100th straight month of jobs growth.  The New York Times explained: “It isn’t just Friday’s data that looked strong. Claims for unemployment insurance recently hit a nearly 50-year low. Paychecks are growing — data released Thursday showed that wages and salaries rose 3.1 percent in the final three months of 2018 compared with a year earlier, the fastest growth since the recession ended a decade ago. And employers report in private surveys that they plan to keep on adding workers, at least if they can find them.”

Since the beginning of our No Kid Hungry campaign, there has never been a moment like this in which economic conditions yield such a favorable foundation for our success. If you leave aside political views about who deserves the credit, and focus just on measurable facts, the facts are that millions more Americans are working, at increasingly higher wages, especially Americans who had the most trouble finding employment. This translates into significantly less childhood hunger, and ultimately decreasing demand for food assistance. The public food and nutrition assistance programs we support are designed to work exactly this way.

That in turn means more opportunity for us to help prevent kids from being hungry in the first place, and a corresponding responsibility to think anew about how to best do that.