Rep. Jim Clyburn: Hunger is Taking a Toll on South Carolina
[Editors’ note: For the last few weeks we have been running a series of posts on the Bread Blog about each member of the Super Committee. If you live in South Carolina’s 6th district and are represented by Rep. Jim Clyburn, please share this blog post with your local family and friends, and message Rep. Clyburn on his Web page or through Twitter.]
Even though the recession is over, too many families in South Carolina’s 6th district remain in need. “We are seeing levels of hunger across 20 counties of South Carolina such as never seen in our 30-year history as a hunger-relief organization,” says Denise Holland, CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank which serves poor and hungry people throughout South Carolina.
Indeed, 22 out of every 100 households in South Carolina’s 6th congressional district—represented by Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC)—struggled to put food on the table in 2010 and nearly 29 children out of every 100 children in the area were at risk of hunger in 2009 (compared to 16.6 percent of children nationwide). For Holland, these rates of poverty and food insecurity are putting people who have never experienced such hardships in new situations.
“We see the toll of hunger and food hardship on the faces of people who never thought they would find themselves in a position of need, who struggle daily to cope with circumstances outside of their control. Some of our former donors now have to turn to us for food,” Holland says.
A contributing factor to South Carolina’s economic instability is the lack of jobs. With the state’s unemployment rate up to 11.1 percent in August (compared to 9.1 percent nationwide), those living without work are finding it increasingly difficult to pay the rent and provide adequate food for their families. What’s worse, however, is that even those with jobs are unable to make ends meet. “We are seeing more and more people who work hard and still do not have enough money left over after paying all their bills to put adequate food on their tables,” says Holland.
In fact, nationwide 22.3 percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) live in households with two or more workers.
It is impossible, then, to think that the Join Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or Super Committee) is now considering cuts to programs such as SNAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit—all programs the people of South Carolina, and throughout the country, are depending on to survive this tough economic climate. And yet, as Rep. Jim Clyburn and the other members of the Super Committee consider how to trim a minimum of $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years, all of these programs face steep cuts to their funding.
Join Bread for the World as we raise our collective voices to urge Rep. Jim Clyburn and his colleagues on the Super Committee to save these valuable programs that help those struggling with poverty and hunger in South Carolina and throughout the nation.
+Call Jim Clyburn today at 1-800-826-3688!
Official photo of Jim Clyburn.
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