Food Security in the U.S.: Is Food a Basic Human Right?
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The U.S. has a long history of food assistance; from the breadlines of the Great Depression to the creation of ‘Food Stamps;’ church basement soup kitchens to institutionalized non-profits, the approach to hunger has always been one of charity and welfare. However, the increasing number of foodinsecure households and the inability of current government and non-profit programs to eliminate nutrition gaps have led some hunger activists to call for a change in the way we as a society approach the problem. The UN and a number of human rights organizations believe it is crucial to recognize food as a basic human right before any further progress can be made. Jaacques Diouf, Director General of UNFAO, states that the human right to food, “Implies a change of perspective: the hungry cease to be a problem; they become both part of the solution and actors of their own development.”