US Mayors' New Report Consistent with Increased Hunger Seen by America’s Second Harvest

America's Second Harvest
Thursday, 18 December 2003

The U.S. Conference of Mayors today released their annual survey of hunger and homelessness in America's cities. As the overall economy remained weak, requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average of 17 percent over the past year, and requests for emergency shelter assistance increased by an average of 13 percent in the 25 cities surveyed.

"The data released today is consistent with the increased demand for emergency food assistance we've seen throughout our national network of hunger-relief agencies," said Robert Forney, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest. "We are hopeful that this will spur the President and Congress to renew and strengthen our national fight against child hunger in America."

Twenty cities reported that the increased need for food assistance results from the lack of good jobs in their economies. In 11 of the cities surveyed, hunger is directly related to the high cost of housing. As need increased during this past year, more than half of the cities surveyed reported that people in need were turned away due to lack of resources.

One of the efforts to address the growing problem of hunger in America being spearheaded by America's Second Harvest and other leading anti-hunger organizations is the creation of the National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO). In a recently released charter document, the organization is calling upon the President, Congress, elected leaders in states and cities and religious and private sector leaders to provide decisive leadership to end hunger in America.

In NAHO's Millennium Declaration to End Hunger in America, they say, "Let us all work together, private and public leaders, community, religious and charitable groups, to achieve an America where hunger is but a distant memory and we live true to the values of a great nation."

The Declaration calls on the nation to end hunger by expanding and improving effective initiatives like public nutrition programs, combined with stronger community-based efforts; and to end the causes of hunger as well.

For more information, or to contact America's Second Harvest, see their website at: www.secondharvest.org

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