Starvation in America

Question I’ve always wondered. How many Americans DIE from starvation each year due to inability to afford food? I am not talking about people who kill themselves from starvation or those who have a medical reason that causes them to starve. I am talking about normal Americans who die simply because they dont have access to food. What would yall say the number is? I would say less than 10.000

Also, bear in mind, that in some states, people can only get food stamps a limited amount of time, unless they have kids. Not trying to start a political discussion, just throwing that out there.

It’s pretty damn difficult to starve to death in the United States. You’d really have to work at it.

Its practically impossible unless one intentionally denies oneself food or someone prevents access to food for you.

What friedo said, but expanded to include all developed economies.

Even without government safety-nets, there are charities that will dispense food for those down and out. Maybe not terribly nice food, nor super nutritious, but food all the same.

And even if charities are not able to provide for an individual, there are so many foodstuffs thrown away, I’d imagine if someone was literally starving, they would avail themselves of refuse bins behind restaurants etc.

I’d wager that nobody involuntarily starves to death in the US, or any other first world country. They may be malnourished (insofar as not getting the required vitamins etc from the food they eat) but they won’t starve.

If you eliminate medical reasons and mental illness, I would really be surprised if there were any. There are just too many resources out there for the hungry. If for some reason you can’t get food stamps or any other type of government assistance, you can go to the local church or soup kitchen. The Salvation Army and many other groups not connected to the government have food programs. Many businesses that sell food will donate all of their scraps at the end of the day to shelters just so that they can get the tax write off. There is a huge supply of food out there.

[quote=“kambuckta, post:4, topic:683907”]

And even if charities are not able to provide for an individual, there are so many foodstuffs thrown away, I’d imagine if someone was literally starving, they would avail themselves of refuse bins behind restaurants etc./QUOTE]

Don’t know if that’s also a thing in America, but it’s not unheard of for charities, homeless groups, squatters and even individual homeless people to eke out deals with local supermarkets and grocery stores. The deal is : since the shops by law cannot sell food that is past due date, fresh meat in particular, and have to throw it all away (eating a net loss) why not just give it away to people who couldn’t have afforded the food to begin with ?

The store down the street from where I live even extends this courtesy to anyone, no questions asked - do your shopping around closing time, get a free (albeit stale) *baguette *if any are left over from the day’s stock.

In another thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=717970) jsgoddess**** posted a link to an ABC Special by Diane Sawyer about poverty in Appalachia called Children of the Mountains. One of the kids said when her mother’s food stamps run out they literally have zero food. She said that once they had ranch dressing and I think ketchup or something like that and that was it. I guess maybe that’s not ZERO food depending on your definition of food, but it’s getting there. It wasn’t explained how they obtained food otherwise although presumably even in rural Appalachia there’s got to be a food bank somewhere. The issue is getting there (many people don’t have cars or can’t afford gas) and if everyone else is dirt poor, how much can people spare for someone else? The kids didn’t look like they were near death or anything though, so I’m guessing it’s just a few days of eating very little until their mother gets more food stamps.

Sorry, should have double checked- it was actually Zero-syde**** who posted the link to the documentary. My apologies to both. Here’s the link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBdu6uhrNno. They show the kids eating plain noodles with ketchup.

Are you Catherine Zeta Jones?

Anyway, Ill watch that video tomorrow.

As far as charities go, you are right there are several that would be willing to help. I live in a rural area and there are plenty of churches, businesses, etc where a person can get food. Not to mention people like me who would be more than happy to feed a person down on their luck. Ive done it many times.

I admit I have never heard of a single case of starvation (aside from suicide, mental illness, physical illness etc), but I’m sure there are some. Anybody know of any confirmed cased?

I imagine some people get lost in the desert (or other wilderness) sometimes.

This is probably going to sound a bit ignorant, but why don’t they just shoot some rabbits or a deer.

Guns are expensive, so is ammo. Or maybe they don’t hunt.

And it isn’t all that easy, you know, to “just” shoot some rabbits or a deer.

I would think that the vast majority of people who actually starve to death in the US are impaired in some way - mentally ill, or old and infirm and stuck in the house, that sort of thing.

I’ve been to some very poor areas in West Virginia. They hunt/poach/trap/etc. Often with an old gun inherited from pappy that though old is serviceable. The cost of ammunition is countered by the fact that they can buy it at the local general store, and are very good shots. Worst case scenario, clubbing a possum is pretty straight forward.

And “they don’t hunt”?? What, vegan Appalachians?

In the movie Winter’s Bone** doesn’t Jennifer Lawrence’s character teach her younger siblings how to hunt?

It’s possible some if these people don’t know how to hunt, especially children. Many of the parents in the documentary were addicted to drugs or were absent parents because they were in jail, rehab, whatever. I’m guessing someone like that is in no shape to teach their children how to hunt, much less hunt themselves.

I thought unlocked bins and dumpsters were only in the movies and on tv. Every one I have seen in real life had been locked by the business or the carting company.

Nope, you can find 'em if you know where to look.

Plus, the “lock” is often just a waist high fence with a locked gate. Not exactly Fort Knox.

That’s how it works here in San Antonio. The local Food Bank collects “expired” food from the various supermarkets, sorts the food at their facility, then ships it out to various charities, soup kitchens, shelters, etc.

Probably not even then. You’re likely to die of exposure or thirst long before you starve.