Current economic turmoil and threats of severe cuts to government programs have left America’s hungry – already at historically high numbers – with little hope of relief. Recent studies by a number of agencies and organizations highlight this disturbing trend: between 2007 and 2009, the number of households struggling with hunger increased more than 33%, with nearly one in four U.S. households with children unable to afford enough food. In April 2012, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) participation rose to a record level of more than 46.2 million Americans – an increase of more than 1.5 million people compared with one year before. But proposed cuts mean millions could be left without help.
This fall, rabbis of all denominations across the United States are joining with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Cantors Assembly, Uri L'Tzedek, and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism to take the JEWISH COMMUNITY FOOD STAMP CHALLENGE, living for one week on the average food stamp allotment to demonstrate the Jewish community’s commitment to ending hunger.