Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pot in America." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 16,000 earlier this month, headlines throughout the country trumpeted the milestone as a sign of recovery for the economy.
Away from Wall Street, among the working poor in America's suburbs, small towns and larger metropolitan areas, the trumpets of a thriving economy do not sound. What we too often hear in the back streets and even on some main streets is the drumbeat of the desperate, or the plaintive strings of hope postponed.
Until the jobs come, though, and even with some of the jobs - minimum wage, and even above, that do not pay enough to cover the necessities - people are still hungry. Many people have been hungry for a long time.
Unsurprisingly, the recession ushered in with it an increase of people (70% since 2007) being served by the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that a record 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011. That's more than 1 in every 7 Americans.
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