A Sociological Perspective On Food Insecurity

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In the year 2015, around 40 million U.S. citizens were food insecure (Randall para. 3). Food insecurity can be defined in paragraph 3 by “[having] difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. This 12.7% of American citizens also contains another group - children. Aged 10-17, 6.8 million adolescents struggle with a food insecurity. There have been several years of cuts to the social programs designed to help these people, along with the Great Recession continuing to leave an impact on the U.S. economy (para. 6). Under the Obama administration, $8.6 billion was cut from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. From 1993-2001 under the Clinton administration, former President Bill Clinton’s administration “gutted the welfare system” (para. 15). Because of these budget cuts, the families who rely on food assistance from the government have been allotted less throughout the years. From a sociological perspective, the concepts of sociological imagination, class stratification, and social location are in effect when it comes to child hunger in the United States. Being hungry is an issue larger than any one individual can control. Families and adults who themselves do not go without meals believe hunger is a personal trouble, and not a consequence of society’s structural issues. This is because of the lack of a sociological imagination. According to Mills, a sociological imagination is the “vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society” (71). In laymen’s terms, it is the ability to see how a seemingly personal trouble is often a larger public issue. Imagine a teenager who sits next to a f... ... middle of paper ... ...from the free enterprise economy in the country. More often, they turn a blind eye to this economical system and blame the individuals suffering. Teenagers are directly affected; several of them turn to crime just to feed family members. Their class level and sociological location significantly increase their chances of remaining food insecure as adults. There is not one true solution to fix these issues. I personally believe that one of the best ways to combat food insecurity in the U.S. would be increasing the federal funding to the assistance programs. Food drives and soup kitchens are another wonderful way to help families who do not have the money to purchase food. This issue will not be resolved overnight, but with the right decisions politically and personally, Americans can help their fellow citizens reduce the national percentage of food insecure families.
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