To Tackle Hunger in the U.S., Frame Food as a Human Right

To Tackle Hunger in the U.S., Frame Food as a Human Right
Staff arrange some of the hundreds of free lunches that will be given to students in Fayette, Miss., March 3, 2021 (AP photo by Rogelio V. Solis).

In his State of the Union address last week, U.S. President Joseph Biden laid out his administration’s numerous policy achievements aimed at the poor and working class, in language that seemed to speak directly to those Americans struggling hardest. Simultaneously, his remarks celebrated the widely trumpeted end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Biden notably said little about an important downside for poor and working-class Americans of declaring the pandemic over: increased food insecurity. For all the pandemic’s horrors, the policies enacted in response to it helped improve public health by making sure that more Americans could access food. Eligibility for the federal food stamps program was increased, for instance, and monthly payments under the Child Tax Credit augmented grocery budgets of the families that received it.

But hunger is spiking again, because many of these policies are expiring just as the price of food, as well as gas and other essentials, is on the rise. This provides both a challenge and an opportunity for Biden’s efforts to appeal to the “forgotten” working class—and for advocates working to end hunger to reframe food as a public good rather than a form of charity, and a human right rather than a commodity.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.