Child Hunger Is Exploding In Greece – And 14 Signs That It Is Starting To Happen In America Too

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The world is heading into a horrific economic nightmare, and an inordinate amount of the suffering is going to fall on innocent children.  If you want to get an idea of what America is going to look like in the not too distant future, just check out what is happening in Greece.  At this point, Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Greece has now risen to 27 percent, which is much higher than the peak unemployment rate that the U.S. economy experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  And as you will read about below, child hunger is absolutely exploding in Greece right now.  Some families are literally trying to survive on pasta and ketchup.  But don't think for a moment that it can't happen here.

Sadly, the truth is that child hunger is already rising very rapidly in our poverty-stricken citiesNever before have we had so many Americans unable to take care of themselves.  Food stamp enrollment and child homelessness have soared to brand new all-time records, and there are actually thousands of Americans that are so poor that they live in tunnels underneath our cities.  But for millions of other Americans, the suffering is not quite so dramatic.  Instead, they just watch their hopes and their dreams slowly slip away as they struggle to find a way to make it from month to month.  There are millions of parents that lead lives that are filled with constant stress and anxiety as they try to figure out how to provide the basics for their children.  How do you tell a child that you can't give them any dinner even though you have been trying as hard as you can?  What many families go through on a regular basis is absolutely heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, more poor families slip through the cracks with each passing day, and these are supposedly times in which we are experiencing an "economic recovery".  So what are things going to look like when the next major economic downturn strikes?

A recent New York Times article detailed the horrifying child hunger that we are witnessing in Greece right now.  At some schools there are reports of children actually begging for food from their classmates...

As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

“He had eaten almost nothing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup.

Could you imagine that happening to your children or your grandchildren?

Don't think that it can't happen.  Just a few years ago the Greek middle class was vibrant and thriving.

And we are starting to see hunger explode in other European countries as well.  For example, in the UK the number of people receiving emergency food rations has increased by 170 percent over the past year.

This is one of the reasons why I get upset when people say that "things are getting better".  Yes, the stock market has been setting record highs lately, but things are most definitely not getting better.

Even during this false bubble of debt-fueled economic stability that we are enjoying right now, we continue to see hunger and poverty rise dramatically in America.

Since Barack Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 32 million to more than 47 million.

Will we all be on food stamps eventually?

Will we all become dependent on the government for our survival at some point?

According to the Boston Herald, even Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving government welfare benefits...

Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.


State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits.

Isn't that crazy?

And yes, there are some people out there that are abusing the system.  In fact, the cost of food stamp fraud has risen sharply to approximately $750 million in recent years.

But most of the people on these programs really need the help.  Thanks to our incredibly foolish economic policies, there are not enough good jobs for everyone and there never will be again.  The percentage of Americans that are unable to take care of themselves is going to continue to rise, and the suffering that we are witnessing right now is going to get much, much worse.

Not that things aren't really, really bad already.  Here are some signs that child hunger in America has already started to explode...

#1 Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity.  In other words, that means that "one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life."

#2 We are told that we live in the "wealthiest nation" on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

#3 The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.

#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.

#5 It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either "low income" or impoverished.

#6 The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million.  That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

#7 According to Feeding America, "households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent".

#8 According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

#9 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#10 Approximately 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.

#12 In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#13 In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#14 According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

For many more facts about the dramatic explosion of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled "21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know".

Unfortunately, most of the time statistics don't really tell the whole story.  Numbers alone cannot really communicate the soul-crushing despair that millions of American families are enduring on a daily basis at this point.

How can numbers communicate the pain that a child feels when her grandmother does not eat because there is not enough food for everyone in the family?  But this is what some families in America actually go through because there is not enough money...

Vanyshia tells about the sacrifices her Grandmother makes so that she and her siblings can eat. “Sometimes my Grandma can’t even eat because she has to feed me and my brother and sister. Sometimes I don’t eat as much as I want to because I leave some for my Grandma because I don’t want her to sit there and starve. Sometimes she doesn’t have enough money to buy food, so she has to go to the bank and borrow money. It makes me feel sad. I don’t want her to be hungry. I just feel sad sometimes,” says Vanyshia.

Things can be particularly tough when you are a single parent.  The BBC recently profiled a single mother that is struggling to raise two young children in Iowa...

"We don't get three meals a day like breakfast, lunch and then dinner," says Kaylie. "When I feel hungry I feel sad and droopy."


Kaylie and Tyler live with their mother Barbara, who used to work in a factory. After losing her job, she was entitled to unemployment benefit and food stamps - this comes to $1,480 (£974) a month.


But they were no longer able to afford to live in their house, which along with bills cost $1,326 (£873) a month, leaving little for food or petrol.


Kaylie supplemented their income by collecting cans along the railway track near their old home - earning between two and five cents per can.

For more examples like this one, I encourage everyone to go watch a recent BBC documentary entitled "America's Poor Kids" that you can see right here.

I wonder why we don't see more stuff like this on the mainstream news in this country?

Could it be that the mainstream media does not want to admit how bad things have really gotten?

All of this is also a reminder that we need to be generous to those in need.  Times are going to get much, much harder than this, and we are all going to need one another.

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Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

According to Feeding America, "households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent".

There is that politically correct Orwellian language shift to minimize the emotional impact on people reading it.

Freddie's picture

Could it be that the mainstream media does not want to admit how bad things have really gotten?

LOL!  The mainstream media, TV and Hollywood lie 24x7 for our dear muslim.   It is full on and total brainwashing from Operation Mockingbird.   Only sheep shits and retards watch Tv and Hollywoods crap. 

ALso loads of children are fat shits thans to corn syrup (ADM-Illinois) and processed GMO food (Monsanto-Ayers-Chicago).

knukles's picture

Enuf with the negative vibes, Moriarty

ronaldawg's picture

EBT going to liquor and cigs.....

killallthefiat's picture

How many of these "children" in Cleveland and Chicago and Peoria, IL are gang bangers that are 13-17. 


I hate that when there is a news article about a "child" being shot, you learn that is was a 16 year old Latin King or Sex Money Murda.


Worse is the "teenagers" fighting...19 year old with guns!

Scro's picture

Drug test those mofo's

ronaldawg's picture

These tear jerking examples are so stupid!

The three person family could not live on $1,480 a month?  In IOWA?????  And an apartment in IOWA goes for over $1K - bullshit again.

I bet the children in this story are BEACHBALLS - morbidly obese. 

akak's picture

Greek children just need to go to work in the gold mines, and they will be fed.

So let it be written, so let it be PUD.

nmewn's picture

There or a sweatshop making sandals for the masses of self centered, hyper-critical, white bourgeois, chardonnay drinkers driving back & forth to the liquor store in their Prius ;-)

knukles's picture

Let them eat Mercury

nmewn's picture

The earth will be fine, the people are fucked.

knukles's picture

Ha ha ha ha
Whenever one of my uber-libtard acquaintances starts on about climate change or "save the planet" I merely point out that Earth will be here in all her splendor long after man is extinguished. 
The planet will do more than just fine without us.... and is probably geared for just such a resolution... Don't fuck with Mother Nature.
Ah, the egocentricity of man "saving the universe."
Man is the pestilence insofar as I can discern.

espirit's picture

+1 for The Matrix reference.

Jack Burton's picture

The clock is ticking on humans, it is ticking on earth and the solar system. It is ticking on the universe. Entropy is the driving force as we know and it means everyting is fucked in the end.

What concerns us is what happens in our life times and what will happen to family and friends in the future when we are gone. It is all a matter of how bad things will get before they reset. In history, civilizations collapase very so often and people degrade into a lower level of existence.

A perfect example of this type of thing is the Fall of Roman Britain and the end of that well organized civilzation to be replaced with invading barbarians from all compass points. In a few centuries all the great roads, cities and buildings were ruins and people had fallen backwards 500 years. Then it took a 1,000 years to start to really come around.

When the collapse comes, it could come in many forms. What we need to really worry about is the nuclear states taking down the world when things get out of control. I know Israel has plans to nuke all of the major cities of Europe and the Middle East should their ship of state sink.  They have vowed that if they go down, every body goes down. To the best of my knowledge they are the only nuclear power to reserve the right to destory the world if they lose power in Palistine.

But our power to destroy is so much greater now. Rome could not nuke the world because barbarians had taken Rome and the empire. But Israel says if they lose their state, as all states do fall eventually, they will kill everybody they can. And as far as I know, Israeli politicians have said this plan is real and major Middle East and European states know this plan is in existence.

dkny's picture

Oh dear, another one of those who "knows".

TBT or not TBT's picture

Obesity is a common sign of malnutrition, because the cheapest calories available to people on a tight food budget are always carbohydrates, often bread and pasta, which have glycemic indices higher even than table sugar.   They are uniquely fattening, and contain little nutritional value other than the regular hit of spiked blood sugar.

akak's picture

I have to question that.

Many if not most populations since the rise of agriculture have existed overwhelmingly on bread, rice, and other grain-derived food without the high (and rising) rates of obesity seen nowadays.  Hell, that was true even 30 or 40 years ago in the USA and Europe as well. 

Whatever the reason for the rising rate of obesity in the Western world, one needs to look at changes in the food supply and/or dietary habits over the past 40 or 50 years, not categorically blame it all on a food source that has nourished mankind for millenia.

TuPhat's picture

You got that right, Akak.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Akak, I think if you were to look historically at the types of foods eaten by societies 30, 40 or even 100,000 years ago you'd be humbled by the difference. Carbohydrates of yore were complex and grown seasonally in rich soil, and served minimally processed. Carbs today are genetically engineered ( primarily to withstand Roundup) grown in nutrient deficient soil, developed for maximum yield not nutrition and highly processed to deliver the most pleasing palate response to insure addiction. Honestly,to me, modern day " food" is a misnomer. I wouldn't feed it to my dogs. Also if you were to analyze the caloric amount people consumed in those days, I'd suppose you'd see a vast difference as well. Nutritious food is naturally filling and more satisfying. It's always amazing to me how little calories I need. Generally I eat 1200-1500 calories/ day just not to gain weight and I'm quite active. The average MEAL at a fast food restaurant is easily that or more. Plus it's nutritionally lacking and addictive so you're hungrier sooner. A win win for big food.

Personally, I'm careful with carbs because if I indulge too much I will gain. This doesn't mean I vilify carbs, just they don't work well for me. Perhaps if I were employed in a very physical job like most people did historically I'd find I could eat more. There's the other problem. Efficiency tends to produce inactivity. I noticed after the invention of the nail gun the local construction guys went from "skins" to "shirts" in short order. Of course they also cranked out the " ticky tacky homes all in a row" much faster than before!


willwork4food's picture

Well said Miffed. but skins to shirts tells me you're up north somewhere. You ever try to lug around a nail gun with several clips on you in the sun? Your shirt will be a sponge in short order!

TBT or not TBT's picture

Humans and our biped ancestors evolved for several million years before agriculture began, which was only a hundred to two hundred generations ago, and for most of that time yielded nothing close to what it has in the last few hundred years in terms of carbohydrate content, nevermind what it has produced since the "Green Revolution" of the 1960s.   Norman Borlaug won a Nobel for saving billions of people from starvation, with his dwarf wheat developed before genetic engineering or roundup came into the picture.   As a result at least 25 percent of calories consumed by humans come from wheat, because it is both cheap and malleable into so many sorts of confections, thanks to glutens.   The poorer one is, the greater percentage of one's calories come from this new to the world high yield wheat.   The "complex carbohydrate" in it that yields most of the calories is in no way good for humans.   It is primarily amylopectin A, which breaks up into individual glucose molecules so quickly in the small intestine, and absorbs so quickly, that BREAD HAS A HIGHER GYLCEMIC INDEX EVEN THAN TABLE SUGAR DOES, on a calorie equivalent basis.  Whether Wonder Bread or "Whole Wheat" it matters not.   Wheat based products make for uniquely fattening, and very cheap food, the kind people on a tight budget eat to survive.   The nutritional value, beyond the blood sugar pump, is limited, ergo people living on "bread alone" (because they're on a tight budget) are starving for nutrition, and fattening at the same time.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I agree with most of what you say but I do question if there is more to it than a proliferation of carbs( wheat, corn) that is the basis for our modern ills. For example, take the ancient roman empire. The success of the expansion of Rome can really be explained by the vast quantities of wheat and spelt imported from Egypt. The average soldier ate an estimated 1/3 of a ton of grain a year! Of course they ate local veggies and wild game but the bulk of their diet came from hard tack. This is what has caused me to question the simplistic view that all carbs are inherently bad. Granted, the life of an ancient Roman soldier is vastly different from a modern day American and with so many variables it's hard to come up with any meaningful conclusions. How could so many people be living on grain and not be succumbing to gluten or other health problems? It's just a dilemma that I just haven't resolved. Poignantly so because my husband has 2 autoimmune diseases that vastly improved when he quit eating wheat. He asked me how come wheat, which had been a staple for so many cultures for so many years, had become a toxin for so many people today. I just don't have an answer and am fascinated as to why myself.


onthesquare's picture

A friend of mine was telling me the best way to prepare ground hog.  He eats a lot of sqirrel and cotton tails.  Gardens every year and buys very little from the grocer.  Most of these poor children and their parents and grand-parents think all food comes from the grocer.  Twinkies do not grow on trees.

Dandilion salad, slightly marred potatoe, a bit of mustard from a sealed packet and that is a meal.  Most starving children are victums of their stupid parents.

Debt-Penitent's picture

Plus 1 for Kelly's Heros ref.

knukles's picture

Plus 1 for the catch!

Many years ago when I was going to school in London I was walking out of the side door of Harrods and Donald Sutherland was getting out (more like uncoiling) of a Rolls, door held by the chauffeur.  I stopped and was trying to say something like; "Can I get your autograph?" and all my mouth could do was flap.
He looked at me real calm with that distant look of his (kinda like Leon Russell) and said ; "Eeeeasy fellah, easy." making a slow down motion with his hand and waltzed right on by.

knukles's picture

I knew that was gonna be Tight Wire!
Jezzz... I still have that album, Carney.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen with Joe Cocker is another great!

(I'm dating myself!   As in age, guys., age...)

nmewn's picture

lol...we're both dating ourselves.

(Rosey Palm was always there for me though)

Uncle Remus's picture

"Well maybe you're just too blind to (bump bump bump) see."


Mighta been a thump tho. Depends on your woofers.


Or a sampled dry heave. Leon breathed that good Tulsa air. *cough* Did you know there is a scaled down version of a single WTC office tower in Tulsa? Kinda eerie in it's own way.

GeezerGeek's picture

One of the best movies for goldbugs.

nmewn's picture

Moriarty: Now look, Oddball. The trade for the uniforms I can understand.
But to buy into Hope-n-Change at these levels, you got to be crazy!

Oddball: It's a mother beautiful Benny ramp.

Moriarty: It's a piece of shit!
The fiat system leaks all over the place! Its killing entrepanuer spirit! The debt could blow sky high at any minute!

Its a piece of junk!

Ineverslice's picture


...but you zee American Army.

No baby, we aint'...

$16 million in gold.

That's about 60 million marks...

nmewn's picture

See how that works?

Just wait till a loaf of bread costs a hundred million mark/bucks ;-)

knukles's picture

Ah, lots of smiles....

yogibear's picture

Hollywood and the media have become one.

The only time you will get people to wake up is when their hungry. If prices increase so much that the EBT doesn't buy enough you'll have people roaming the streets and just taking.

The admin is going ti indoctrinate millions of new voters. Many are already collecting welfare and medicaid.



323's picture

Getting enough to eat is an emotional thing these days

knukles's picture

Hunger, starvation....
It's the politically correct way to say something along those lines that doesn't insult anybody who really either doesn't give a shit or no speaka de englasiha

I mean seriously, people.  This is part of the reason (And a very real part, dammit) why there is a failure to communicate these days.  Nobody has a fucking clue what anybody else is saying because every term has been hijacked by somebody else and twisted and wrapped to be bad, good, whatever....

We're fucked.  People cannot even communicate anymore.
Let alone watch the adults on the telly news stations Yell at One Another.

Uncle Remus's picture

I realize my question was borderline rhetorical. However, "food insecurity" could mean a preppers paranoia about his pallet of MREs, "illegal" gardens, the Hostess debacle, or Wookie stew. I mean Jesús Cristo, it could be sweating out the expiration date on that jug of 2% in the fridge, some kind of pestilence on your cantaloupe rind, shit on your lettuce or paraquat in your pot.

Fuck - it could mean having an unlicensed pressure cooker!!!

It could mean being forced to eat your broccoli, crow or your fucking hat.

Jus' sayin'.

nmewn's picture

I'm running low on coffee & sugar, I'm feeling insecure.

Somebody help me ;-)

espirit's picture

Have a Mountain Dew.

knukles's picture

That's seriously twisted

knukles's picture

Dat be da troof, brother.

I was very worried about Twinkies some months ago even tho I'd not had a hankerin' for what, some 25+ years?
So I getcha, loud and clear.

BTW, Twinkies is sold the best in the neighborhoods where the EBT cards proliferate to which the term "food insecurity" is primarily directed. 

Nutrition Insecurity a better descriptor, maybe?

Go figure.

Poor Grogman's picture

I thought some of your touch points were invalidated by the lack of self referential correctness in the main.
However viewing with reference to worlds best practice it harmonizes more than a little...

onthesquare's picture

did you see George W tearing up yesterday when they opened his library.  Clinton saying he liked bush...I mean George Bush.  What a bunch of bullshit.  Is it any wonder ordinary people are discusted and acting out like those boys in Boston.

They are trying to fix the symptoms and ignoring the disease.

McMolotov's picture

Food insecurity is when a cow asks if her spots make her butt look fat.

McMolotov's picture

This is just anecdotal evidence of things being bad, but I've noticed over the past few months that Walmart's been running low on rice every time I've been in there. I think people have cut way back on what they spend on food.

Diogenes's picture

If I was broke and out of work again, the first thing I would buy would be a 20 pound sack of rice for under $10. While I was at it I would hit up the bakery department for a white plastic pail with a tight fitting lid, the kind pie filling or icing comes in. Usually they will give you one for free or maybe a buck or 2.

That much rice will feed one person 2 meals a day for a year, or a family in proportion.

Next would be a bottle of soy sauce, some cooking oil and tea bags. And a bag of dried beans.

Add some fruit and vegetables from the "last day for sale" table, a bag of cheap chicken parts, a little fish or meat or eggs and you can make some nice meals.

There are millions of people around the world who would consider themselves well fixed if they had all those things.

I'm not the only one who knows this. Maybe that accounts for the run on rice. How are the dried beans doing?