“It was a gray morning in Washington, D.C., and Phyllis arrived at America’s Islamic Heritage Museum to pick up meat that is distributed to the area’s low-income community. Winter was coming soon, and she was already scrambling to find extra money in her budget to buy new coats for her children.
An all-too-common struggle
When you imagine what hunger looks like, the first image in your mind is probably not Phyllis: a well-dressed woman carrying an iPhone, with a home to return to and children who have something to eat — most of the time. Ten years ago, the U.S. government replaced the word “hunger” with the term “food insecure” to describe any household where, sometime during the previous year, people didn’t have enough food to eat. That number currently rests at 49 million — five times the number in the 1960s.
For Phyllis, avoiding hunger is making food stretch longer than it should and relying on handouts from charitable organizations whenever she can. “This is going to help my bottom line in my budget for this month,” Phyllis told Islamic Relief USA staff distributing the meat. ‘That money can go to something else I need.’ ”
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