Hungry Missourians Need Trump's Help, Advocates Say
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – One in six households in Missouri struggles to put food on the table every day, and 1 in 5 children is hungry on a consistent basis.
The anti-hunger group Bread for the World says it will push the new Trump administration to find a solution.
The Rev. David Beckmann, Bread for the World’s president, says President-elect Donald Trump has made promises to create better job opportunities, and while that's encouraging, Beckmann says advocates need to band together to make sure that happens.
"There's all kinds of reasons to be concerned,” Beckmann states. “Groups like Bread for the World need to be vigilant and help the Republican president or Republican majorities in both houses do what they say they believe in."
Beckmann says poverty and hunger in America won’t end without the federal government's focused attention.
Trump has said he wants to reform the tax code and trade policies to make it easier to hire, invest and produce in America, maintaining that will create more jobs.
Beckmann says the issue is bigger than just creating jobs, and he hopes when Congress reconvenes it will make some changes in the criminal justice system.
"There's strong bipartisan support for sentencing reform,” Beckmann states. “That would be good for reduction of hunger and poverty in our country.
“It doesn't cost any money. As a matter of fact, it saves taxpayer dollars and also reduces the disruption of mass incarceration among communities of color in our country."
Beckmann says it's hard for people who have enough to eat to imagine what it's like to be hungry.
"So this is not somebody else,” he stresses. “It's a lot of people. It's people we know.
“Many of the people who are hungry aren't hungry for a long time. The average family that takes food stamps needs food stamps for eight months and then they're off. "
A report by the anti-hunger group Feeding America says there are more than a million food-insecure people in Missouri.