Washington, D.C., January 28, 2010 – A new poll by the Alliance to End Hunger shows that voters are hurting economically and they want Congress and the Administration to put the needs of Americans first.
Tony Hall, director of the Alliance to End Hunger, former Member of Congress (D-OH) and Ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agencies, said today, “Voters are very anxious about how they are going to make ends meet and feed their families. Congress should move swiftly to meet the needs of people who are hurting.”
One in two voters report that they are living paycheck-to-paycheck and that is having a real impact at the kitchen table. Forty-two percent of voters are buying less food or worrying about going hungry because of the recession.
Households with children are especially vulnerable. Fifty-nine percent of households with children under the age of 18 say they are living paycheck to paycheck and forty-six percent say the recession has impacted their ability to provide food for their families.
That need translates into a very clear message for politicians and political candidates in this election year – “Put the needs of Americans first.”
There is strong and growing support across the political spectrum for programs that assist struggling families. Almost half of all voters (48 percent) report that they are more supportive now of government programs that help poor and hungry people than they were when the recession began.
This is important news for Congress, who will reauthorize child nutrition programs – including, school breakfast and summer feeding programs – early this year. They will also have the opportunity to expand and strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit which has lifted more than 5 million people above the poverty line.
Voters want domestic issues to take priority. When asked whether or not the U.S. should make long-term investments in Haiti to help rebuild the country, sixty-one percent of voters said we should focus more on helping our own citizens before making sizable financial commitments to Haiti.
“Americans are as committed and generous as ever when it comes to providing emergency relief,” said Ambassador Hall, “but they are skittish about committing hundreds of millions of dollars to Haiti when so many Americans are struggling. The Administration is wise to take a prudent approach to planning how we help Haiti rebuild over the long term.”
The Alliance to End Hunger poll was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates on January 20, 2010. A random national sample of 1,000 likely voters was done by phone with a +/- 3.1% margin of error at a 95% confidence interval.