Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards addressed Congress to take immediate action to fund programs that provide food services for millions.
"This is an issue that we can actually do something about," Edwards said, calling on Americans to do their part at an individual level.
"I think we have a moral responsibility as a country to stand up and take action to where no man, woman or child in this country should feel hungry."
Edwards' proposal urges Congress to pass a farm bill that would provide food stamps and support food banks. It asks lawmakers to reform the food stamps program to help more families get more assistance. The plan also urges Congress to quickly provide $5.1 billion (3.44 billion EUR) to help low income families pay their winter heating bills to free up extra money for food.
The former North Carolina senator said that he would help low-income children get more access to healthy meals, support programs that provide meals for the elderly, and develop a new program that would identify and provide for neighborhoods that don't have full-service supermarkets.
More than 35.5 million people in the United States went hungry in 2006, according to a Department of Agriculture study. Of those, about one-third reported they had "very low food security," meaning they had a substantial disruption in the amount of food they typically eat.