"For I was hungry and you gave me food"(Mt 25:35). As Catholics, we are called to respect and uphold each individual’s right to life and dignity. Food insecurity, which is defined as the inability to meet basic food needs because of a lack of financial resource, diminishes an individual’s ability to lead a dignified life – and the fact that it exists in our rich nation is unconscionable.
In essence, food insecurity is hunger. Hunger is widespread in the United States, affecting 17 million children and 32 million adults, according to USDA statistics. The problem has only been made worse by the economic downturn, which made passing child nutrition legislation even more urgent. We are pleased that key reauthorization legislation passed  in December 2010, but its reauthorization in 2015  means there is still much more to be done.
Without federal programs that provide immediate food assistance, many families and children would fall victim to devastating hunger and demoralizing circumstances. Though federal programs are undoubtedly beneficial, the fact that 17 million children are food insecure betrays the