Neo-Liberalism and Private Emergency Food Networks

Authored by: Deborah A. Harris , Jamilatu Zakari

The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415673440
eBook ISBN: 9781315755519
Adobe ISBN: 9781317627401


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Hunger and food insecurity in the United States are significant social problems that have gained substantial political and media attention (Berberoglu, 2011; Bruening et al., 2012). In 2011, 14.9 percent of American households experienced food insecurity, and almost one-third of these households were classified as having very low food security characterized by reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns (Coleman-Jensen, 2012). Nord and Golla (2009) state that the increase in food insecurity and hunger within the United States is a reflection of the recent economic downturn. Within the United States, periods of economic turmoil are characterized by drastic changes within government-funded food entitlement programs and increasing growth of private emergency food networks (Daponte and Bade, 2006; Poppendieck, 1998; Scanlan, 2009; Vartanian et al., 2011). As a result of the recession, rising rates of unemployment and food insecurity have increased demands on the largest federal food assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program (USDA, 2012).

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