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[Action for Opportunity Coalition\Economic Opportunity\Poverty]
Hunger Fee America's Joel Berg: “Here’s a startling statistic: In the primaries and general elections of 2008, 2012, and 2016, there were more than 50 Presidential candidate debates, yet not a single question on poverty, hunger, or homelessness was asked."
Photo: YouTube

The Action for Opportunity Coalition, representing more than 30 non-profit organizations, unions, and advocates across the country have received from all presidential candidates, other than President Trump, written plans to address poverty and increase economic opportunity in the United States.

All candidates for president as well as several former candidates have written responses to the following questions:

(1) What are the top five specific ways that you, as president, would increase economic opportunity for low-income Americans and decrease poverty, hunger, and homelessness?

(2) What is your single greatest concrete career accomplishment to date that has increased economic opportunity for low-income Americans and/or decreased poverty, hunger, and homelessness?

(3) As president, how would you staff and structure the development, leadership, and daily management of your economic opportunity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness initiatives in your White House, Cabinet, and Administration?

Responses from Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren can be found on the Action for Opportunity website: President Trump’s campaign was repeatedly asked to respond but has not yet done so.

Ninety-three million Americans – nearly a third of the U.S. population – live near or in poverty, and many middle-class Americans fall into poverty one or more times in their lives. From 2016-2018, one in eight U.S. households were food insecure. This includes one in six children, nine percent of working adults, and nearly eight percent of older Americans (ages 60+), according to Hunger Free America’s 2019 United States Hunger Atlas.

The Action for Opportunity Coalition is led by Hunger Free America and A Place at the Table with major support from the Worcester County Food Bank. Other groups in the Coalition include the Communication Workers of America, South Carolina Appleseed, Bread for the World, Low Country Food Bank, the National Diaper Bank Network, Feeding Texas, the National Association of Social Workers-South Carolina Chapter, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Feast, Feeding the Carolinas, Food Research & Action Center, Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, California Association of Food Banks, Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus, Swipe Out Hunger, WhyHunger, First Focus Campaign for Children, Sue-Ham Entertainment, Gary Hair Solutions, City Harvest, Alliance for Period Supplies, Kean University Human Rights Institute, and the Progressive Policy Institute.

Chef, TV host, and food activist Tom Colicchio, co-founder of A Place at the Table said, “We must highlight the concerns and questions of low-income and working class Americans in the 2020 presidential election in order to have a more equitable society in the future. In our democracy, all Americans — not just the ones who can pay lobbyists — deserve to have their voices heard.”

Said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Fee America: “Here’s a startling statistic: In the primaries and general elections of 2008, 2012, and 2016, there were more than 50 Presidential candidate debates, yet not a single question on poverty, hunger, or homelessness was asked. We want to ensure that the road to the White House must pass through a very robust, fact-based discussion on how to slash poverty, hunger, and homelessness, rebuild the middle class, and restore the American dream.”

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