A long-term study has revealed that 90% of African American children will be on food stamps as a result of the current recession. In addition, it’s very likely that the economic fallout of this modern day recession could push that number even higher.
Washington University Sociologist Mark Rank suggests that the 30-year analysis of national data proves that almost every American knows a family who has received food stamps, or will in the near future. In his words:
“Your neighbor may be using some of these programs but it’s not the kind of thing people want to talk about.”
The results have grave implications for the health of impoverished youth and efforts to prepare pediatricians nationwide are underway. The authors consider it a critical medical issue because children on food stamps are at risk for malnutrition and other ills linked with poverty.
As the health of our youth remains in jeopardy, their well-being hangs in the balance as well. According to Stanford Pediatrician Dr. Paul Wise, “the current recession is likely to generate for children in the United States the greatest level of material deprivation that we will see in our professional lifetimes.” He goes on to say that “I find it terribly sad, but not surprising.”
Given that this revelation has been over 30 years in the making, it can hardly even be considered a “surprise.” Nonetheless this circumstance has dismal implications for all of us. James Weill, President of Food Research and Action Center, aptly illustrates in response to this crisis by stating, “What I hope comes out of this study is an understanding that food stamp beneficiaries aren’t them – they’re us.”