Guam is a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, with a small population of 162,742 as of 2016. Issues such as unemployment and the high cost of living contribute to hunger in Guam. However, with the aid of organizations like The Salvation Army in Guam and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s distribution of food stamps, conditions are beginning to look up for citizens. The following are five facts on the state of hunger in Guam.
5 Facts About the State of Hunger in Guam
- As of 2013, the unemployment rate sits at 8.4 percent. The deep drop only contributes to the issue of hunger in Guam, making it difficult for individuals to work well-paying jobs and earn enough money to provide for their families.
- In 2015, the number of Guam residents on food stamp assistance rose 3.7 percent, with a total of 15,779 island households receiving food subsidies, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- In 1994, one in every 8.4 Guam residents received food stamps. Today that number has dropped to one in every 3.4 residents.
- The Guam Department of Education wishes to expand the program to give more students free meals in Guam’s 41 public schools. This will cost the government of Guam an additional $3 million to $5 million a year to fund.
- The Salvation Army focuses efforts in Guam, providing millions of meals to face the threat of food security, cure hunger and overcome poverty. Donations and various means of volunteering through this outlet help kids in low-income communities thrive.
Ending hunger in Guam, particularly child hunger, is a high priority for Guam. Communities and schools have joined together in fighting the widespread problem. By ensuring that food programs extend to greater groups of people, hunger can hopefully be eliminated as a whole in the near future.
– Mikaela Frigillana