Quote of the Day: David Beckmann
“Partly because of the War on Poverty, we cut the poverty rate in half during the 1960s and early 1970s. But we haven’t made much progress since then, mainly because reducing poverty hasn’t been a national priority. No president since Lyndon Johnson has made reducing poverty one of his top five priorities.”
- Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, in today's press release "Bread for the World Welcomes New Debate about Poverty."
Today marks 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty." This year's Hunger Report, Ending Hunger in America, outlines a four-step plan, which includes policies to reduce unemployment and improve the quality of jobs. It also urges a strong safety net, investments in people, and partnerships between community organizations and government programs.
Congress has several issues on its agenda in January that will have an impact on poverty in America. Federal safety-net programs have helped many families weather the Great Recession, but poverty rates remain high. Until the U.S. unemployment rates are reduced to pre-recession levels, unemployment insurance plays a vital role in helping the long-term unemployed as they seek work. Take a moment now and urge your members to pass an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, restoring vital aid to 1.3 million job seekers.
The farm bill conference committee is expected to release its final report soon. Although poverty has increased during the Great Recession, food insecurity has stayed relatively stable. SNAP (formerly food stamps) has been critical keeping food on the table for 47 million struggling Americans during tough economic times. Tell Congress: now is not the time to be taking food away from struggling families.
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